When is doping not doping?

When it’s doing dope (spliff/herb/ganga/weed) in Downhill Mountain Bike racing. Or when you’re a footballer.

For no particular reason (other than reading up on statute of limitations) I was browsing the UK Sport site and came across their list of closed cases for doping. Skipping to the bit that I found curious: apparently until 2006 Cannabis was only classed as a prohibited substance for Downhill racing. This is from a written decision on a mountainbiker caught for doing a bit of spliff:

“This is the first occasion on which the Federation has had to deal with a cannabis case, since cannabis became a prohibited substance for all types of event in 2006. It was previously a prohibited substance for Downhill Mountain Biking only. I have been provided with a list of the sanctions imposed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) which shows that reprimands, with no period of



ineligibility, have been given in the three cases relating to cannabis dealt with by the union in 2007 and 2008, although in one case a fine was also imposed.”

Source: http://www.uksport.gov.uk/assets/File/Generic-Template-Documents/Drug-Free-Sport/Written-decisions/BCF%20Written%20Decision%20Ref%20169.pdf

Poor lad got a 4 month ban for it, yet had he been a footballer he would have got a formal warning and a reprimand and that’s yer lot – there’s a similar case there for a footballer. Actually, going on preceding cases he would have just got a reprimand.

I’m not sure why it caught my eye, but I guess with all the absurd doping related haboobley going on at the moment this actually restored my faith in the whole lunacy of taking this stuff too seriously.

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