Top 5 Athletes Who Have Been Linked to Marijuana
Ganja. Reefer. Doobie. Weed. Whatever you choose to call it, and whatever you choose to think about its medicinal and other uses, there is no doubt marijuana is, and has been, in the middle of a very heated debate. While different states and different countries choose to implement their own legislation, and with those suffering from terminal illnesses reaching for any relief, albeit it even illegal, focus has somewhat shifted away from the arena of sports, and into the area of the law.
Nevertheless, athletes, both professional and recreational, have also been reaching for a little pre or post-workout boost, and many of them have openly admitted to smoking marijuana. Many more have been sanctioned by their respective associations. While regulations about the use and abuse of marijuana are being hammered out, let us take a look at our choice of five athletes who have been candid about their use of cannabis.
1 Michael Phelps
Undoubtedly one of the most famous athletes in recent history, winner of eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic games, USA swimmer Michael Phelps has also made headlines for getting caught with a bong at a party. The incriminating photos of the gold medalist surfaced in 2009, only several month after his record breaking performance. Phelps has subsequently admitted the photo, first published by UK tabloid News of the World, was indeed authentic, and stipulated “bad judgement” as reason behind his unforeseen behavior.
Another Olympian and currently the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt has also admitted he has smoked marijuana. The athlete has told Bild that growing up in Jamaica, it is difficult not to be exposed to marijuana, but has also emphasized that it is no longer a part of his lifestyle. He has never tested positive on a drug test, and vows to remain clean is he aims to attack another world record this coming summer in Rio.
3 Carmelo Anthony
Small forward for the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has twice escaped possession charges. He was first cited in 2004, when marijuana was found in his backpack. Anthony denied the charges, claiming it was left in the backpack in question by a friend who had previously borrowed it.
Two years later, marijuana was found in his car, although he was not driving it at the time.
4 Jennifer Capriati
Former tennis star and former World No. 1, Jennifer Capriati, was arrested in 1994, at the age of 18, on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. She was also linked to the use of heroin, crack cocaine and painkillers. The arrest came after she had won gold at the 1992 Olympics, mastering Arantxa Sanchez VIcario. The player’s checkered past did however not prevent her from making a comeback in the early 2000s, winning two Grand Slam titles.
5 Ricky Williams
Ricky Williams has probably been the most open about his use of marijuana and the positive effects he claims it has had on his career in the NFL, during which he tested positive for cannabis on four separate occasions. Williams has been credited as ascribing a lot of his comebacks to the relaxing effects of marijuana, and sees it as a valid source of pain relief.
As the debate continues to rage on, you may as well choose to educate yourself about the different effects and possible consequences smoking marijuana might have on your fitness abilities and your health. While Mary Jane’s advocates explore the difference between the indica and the sativa strains, and emphasize the benefits it might have on your stress levels, its opponents testify to the detrimental effects it has on cognitive abilities and focus.
Whichever way you chose to lean, and whether or not you choose to join in the witch hunt and condemn, deplore or praise athletes who choose to indulge their cravings, be sure to educate yourself from reliable sources before you choose to venture into the heated debate that is marijuana legalization.
About the author:
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Check out his website ripped.me and follow him on Twitter.