Back when olympic snowboarder Ross Rigatoni was stripped of his gold medal following the 1998 Olympic Games after he tested positive for cannabis use, there was no question as to the validity of the decision. Cannabis was on the list of banned substances. Exactly why it was on that list was of no concern—he had tested positive; the medal was forfeit.
But with the creeping legalization and normalization of cannabis in Western nations over the decades since Rigatoni won—and then lost, and then won back—the gold medal for snowboarding, the rules have changed. Cannabis is now essentially allowed for use by olympic athletes during training, so long as they don’t use it during the competition.
It is with this allowance in mind that Team Canada has announced a new partnership agreement with Emblem Cannabis for the development and production of performance enhancing weed for use in Canada’s Olympic training program.
“It’s been known by many users for some time that cannabis can help with athletic training by helping users to focus and work through pain and muscle fatigue” Emblem’s CEO Maxim Zavet tells verp. “We’re already supplying Team Canada with that kind of weed, as well as some heavier CBD stuff to aid in recovery. But the future is much, much bigger.”
Emblem is currently developing strains that will rival, or even surpass, popular banned performance enhancing drugs like EPO and steroids. “We have one sativa strain in the works that modulates the endocrine system to create an uptick in testosterone production, and another indica that upregulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow.
“We went into this project knowing that the possible therapeutic applications of cannabis are endless—we knew it was just a matter of time and effort before we would find the magic combination of terpenes and cannabinoids to get the job done for Team Canada.”
Zavet and Emblem were approached by Team Canada officials in the aftermath of the mass doping allegations laid against Russia following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. “It was clear to us then,” recalls Dr. Monty Moreau, a representative of Team Canada, “that no matter how tight the regulations were, some people were just always going to cheat. We knew that if we wanted to win, we needed to find a way to work within the rules to get the same benefits associated with banned substances from a substance that wasn’t banned.”
As for what this will ultimately mean for Team Canada’s performance, we’ll see some results soon, as the Winter Olympics are currently underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. “The athletes have been on a strict regimen of cannabis through training for this year’s competition, so we’re hoping to see some significant results here,” says Dr. Moreau.
“But the real test will be at the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo, after we’ve had a chance to try Emblem’s new strains out. With a bit of luck and perseverance, we’re sure to steal the show in 2020!”
* Go Team Satire!