NCAA raises THC levels for tests, proposes lesser penalties

The NCAA has relaxed the amount of THC an athlete can have to trigger a positive test, and is recommending less-stringent penalties for athletes who do test positive for marijuana.

The threshold levels for THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, will go from 35 nanograms per milliliter to 150 nanograms per milliliter, which the NCAA says is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s levels.

The threshold-level change is effective immediately and is retroactive to drug tests taken since fall 2021, the NCAA said Friday.

Marijuana is legal in some form — medical, recreational or both — in the majority of U.S. states.

“Reconsidering the NCAA approach to cannabis testing and management is consistent with feedback from membership on how to better support and educate student-athletes in a society with rapidly evolving public health and cultural views regarding cannabis use,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline said in a statement. He also said pot is “not considered a performance-enhancing substance.”

Previously, one positive test for marijuana would mean an NCAA athlete would immediately have to miss 50% of a regular season and a second would mean an athlete would sit out for “the equivalent of one season … of regular-season competition.” [Read More @ The Associated Press]

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