Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission has outlined the newly-announced plans to raise the level of marijuana that can be present in any athlete’s drug test.
The NSAC has decided to increase that amount from 50ng/ml to 150ng/ml due to how the body reacts to the drug. Also, the fact that levels of marijuana can be detected in samples from passive smoking.
The high-profile case of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier this year brought marijuana to the fore.
The former world champion was fined and banned for having a small amount in his system. However, as Executive Director Kizer explained, this was not said to be the catalyst for the change.
Nevada State Athletic Commission on Marijuana
“The Commission has always taken an ‘evolutionary’ approach to its testing policies,” Kizer told World Boxing News.
“Concerning marijuana testing, the Commission raised its threshold level in the past to deal with passive inhalation issues [we went from 15 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml)]. It has considered raising it further to deal with timing issues.
“Unlike other drugs of abuse, marijuana metabolites can be detectable in the urine for a week. At times weeks following ingestion.
“A positive test signifies only that marijuana has been used in the past. It gives no insight into when it was last used.
“It is also known that there is significant variation in detection times among users of cannabis. It’s related to the frequency and chronicity of use.
“The main concern is identifying combatants who may be competing under the influence of marijuana.
“The regulatory basis for this proposed change reflects this, as raising the threshold level to 150ng/ml (in the case of a positive result) would be expected to increase the likelihood that the drug was ingested closer to the competition, as well as influencing the competition.
“Accordingly, the Commission raised the threshold for the in-competition urine marijuana test to 150ng/ml (metabolite).”