Marijuana acceptance continues to grow among athletes

By Jason Blevins, The Denver Post

Men’s Ski Super Pipe final of Dew Tour in Breckenridge on Friday. December 14, 2012. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Anyone who’s ever ridden a double chair or skied up on one of hundreds of lean-to “smoke shacks” in ski area trees knows that marijuana and skiing, and snowboarding, are inextricably linked.
Just don’t ask anyone about it. Especially professional athletes vying for the Winter Olympics, which will debut three new sports at Sochi in February: ski and snowboard slopestyle and ski halfpipe.
“I don’t do drugs.”
“I don’t know anything about that.”
“Next question.”
“I just can’t be quoted talking about that, please.”
Despite the sudden Olympic status of skiing’s and snowboarding’s most freewheeling disciplines, global doping watchdogs are relaxing their stance on marijuana. The World Anti-Doping Agency this past May increased the threshold for a positive marijuana test, raising the amount of measurable THC — marijuana’s psychoactive component — to 150 nanograms per milliliter of urine, a tenfold increase.
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