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 athletes drugs test in future.
The NSAC have decided to increase that amount from 50ng/ml to 150ng/ml due to how the body reacts to the drug and 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 after the former world champion was fined and banned for having a small amount in his system, although this was not said to be the catalyst for the change as Executive Director Kizer explained.
“The Commission has always taken an ‘evolutionary’ approach to its testing policies,” Kizer told World Boxing News.
“With respect to 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), and has been considering whether to raise it further to deal with timing issues.
“Unlike other drugs of abuse, marijuana metabolites can be detectable in the urine for a week, and 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 great variation in detection times among users of cannabis, which is related to the frequency and chronicity of use.
“The main concern is to identify 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 having an influence on the competition.
“Accordingly, the Commission raised the threshold for the in-competition urine marijuana test to 150ng/ml (metabolite).”