Arbitration Court Rules Snowboarder May Keep Gold Medal Despite Positive Drug Test

February 12, 1998, Nagano, Japan: The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) determined today that Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may keep his gold medal, despite having tested positive for marijuana on a post-event drug screen. The CAS based it’s ruling on the fact that they and the International Olympic Committee have no formal agreement governing the use of marijuana by Olympic skiers or snowboarders. “It’s purely a legal issue,” said Jean Phillipe Rochat, secretary general of the CAS. “It’s not our role to examine the social issue at this stage.”

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. praised the turn-around. “First, marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. Therefore, Mr. Rebagliati’s marijuana use should be of no concern to the IOC. Second, there is ample evidence demonstrating that a non-smoker exposed to second-hand smoke may test positive on a urine test, as alleged by Mr. Rebagliati. Fortunately, in this instance the appeals panel reached a just result.”

For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.