As the attention of the world turns to the opening ceremonies of the XXX Olympiad, the top female American wrestler in the 72 kg weight class will be watching from home–all because she fell victim to a double standard that plays out all too often in the American public.
Stephany Lee, the wrestler who made headlines last month when the United States Anti-Doping Agency handed down a one-year suspension for testing positive for THC, will be a guest on The Russ Belville Show on National Cannabis Radio, today. It will be her first broadcast interview since the suspension was handed down on June 28th.
“Stephany Lee proved she was the best, because she beat the best; so why is it that we’re punishing her for choosing to use a substance that is safer than alcohol?” says Russ Belville, host of The Russ Belville Show.
At issue in Lee’s situation is the fact that she is a Colorado medical marijuana patient, but refused to apply for a “therapeutic use exemption” through the USADA. In an interview with the New York Times, Lee mentioned that she had abstained from using cannabis for two weeks prior to competition, more than double the period of time she normally abstains before a match.
In addition to Lee’s medical use of marijuana, the interview will touch on the USADA’s double standard regarding an athlete’s ability to perform under the influence of alcohol, but they’re inability to consume cannabis on their off time.
“Based on the USADA’s own criteria, cannabis should not be on its list of banned substances. It’s time we stopped discriminating against our best athletes for their choice of drug. Let me get this straight, Stephany can’t smoke a joint, but Budweiser can sponsor Team USA?” said Kaliko Castille, producer for The Russ Belville Show.
“Why is the United States Olympic team sending its second best wrestler to represent the nation? Michael Phelps proved that using cannabis doesn’t prevent our athletes from achieving Olympic gold. It is a shame that Stephany Lee’s Olympic dreams are being shattered for using medical cannabis. During her trip to Iowa to earn her spot on the Olympic team, Stephany married her wife Brigg McDonald, demonstrating that she is not only an exceptional athlete, but a proud person willing to be herself, when many others are not nearly as brave as she. It is an honor to have her as a guest on National Cannabis Radio,” adds Anthony Johnson, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Coalition.
Stephany Lee’s exclusive interview with Russ Belville and National Cannabis Radio is timely, given that the opening ceremonies are tonight in London. Lee has been replaced by Ali Bernard, a 2008 Olympian that Lee defeated handedly in Iowa City, leaving some to wonder why Team USA would send its second best to the London games.
Chances are that until cannabis laws are changed in the U.S. it is unlikely that the USADA will change its policies to exclude THC from its list of banned substances. However, the National Cannabis Coalition and National Cannabis Radio will be calling on its listeners and supporters to tweet at the USADA today, to tell them “Let Team USA smoke!”
The Russ Belville Show is the anchor program for National Cannabis Radio, the only 24/7 marijuana media network, and can be found Monday through Friday from 3-5pm pacific at www.NationalCannabisRadio.com.
This article was published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition