Olympic Ouster Brings Marijuana Issue To Forefront

By Eric Prisbell, USA Today 
Source: USA Today

cannabisUSA — American wrestler Stephany Lee, who missed the Olympics because she tested positive for marijuana, was at home in Colorado Springs when she heard that judoka Nicholas Delpopolo had been thrown out of the London Games after failing a drug test he blamed on inadvertently eating food baked with marijuana.

Delpopolo is 23, the same age Michael Phelps was when the swimmer was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe in 2009. Phelps, who never failed a drug test, apologized, received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming and is celebrated as the most decorated Olympian in history.

“That was evidence that he does do that,” Lee said of Phelps during an interview with USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “And you’re still going to be able to achieve your dreams regardless. Look at him. He’s awesome. He’s the best athlete ever in the Olympics. It’s a double standard. If you already make a name for yourself, then what happens afterward really doesn’t matter. … I’d rather have my situation (of not going) than getting kicked out of the Olympic Village” like Delpopolo.

Lee said she and other Olympic athletes exhibit “camaraderie” in discussing with one another when best to stop marijuana use before expected testing. Lee estimated that at least “a good 50 Olympic athletes” use marijuana regularly before they stop in time for testing.

“We all regulate our consumption,” Lee said. “It’s not like we have to do a competition and we are continuously on this; that’s not how it works. We know when the tests are going to be because they come to the biggest events. A month before this I am not going to do this anymore, just for the simple fact that you’ll have to clean your system.

“We party just as hard as we train, especially when it’s over. People are going to do what they are going to do regardless. Just because there is a test on it doesn’t mean people are going to stop it. It just means they will change how they are using it and their consumption of it. I’m pretty sure that if athletes were to all party together — who wouldn’t, you know?”

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Source: USA Today (US) 

Author: Eric Prisbell, USA Today
Published: August 7, 2012
Copyright: 2012 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
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