May 23, 2019 / 6:42 PM / a month ago

Athletes ask doping agency to take marijuana off banned list

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 2, 2018 Fromer boxer Mike Tyson looks on during the third round match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Germany's Julia Goerges REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

More than 150 current and former athletes signed a letter sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency, asking the organization to remove marijuana from its list of prohibited substances.

Boxer Mike Tyson, retired football players Jake Plummer and Ricky Williams, and cyclist Floyd Landis are among the athletes who submitted the letter through Athletes for CARE. The nonprofit organization advocates for research into using cannabis to treat a variety of health issues.

“Athletes for CARE is proud to have such a strong network of respected athletes campaigning for the removal of cannabis from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list,” Anna Symonds, a rugby player and Athletes for CARE representative, said in a statement. “We’re also calling on fans to show their support online via our Change.org petition.”

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The letter specifically asks for THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, to be removed from the list.

“We have found an improved quality of life through cannabis and natural cannabinoids, including significant therapeutic and wellness benefits, and these positives should be freely available to all other athletes,” the letter reads.

The release of the letter comes two days after recently retired NFL defensive end Chris Long said in a radio interview that he used marijuana throughout his career.

“Listen, if not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stressors of day-to-day NFL life,” Long said. “A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it.”

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