No less than 33% of the Power Five meeting schools are not rebuffing athletes as brutally as they were ten years prior for testing positive for cannabis and other recreational substances, as indicated by an experiment run by the Association Press. A year ago, the NCAA cut the punishment for athletes who were caught during pot screenings at its title events by half. NCAA chief medical officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, called college sports’ drug policies incredibly conflicting.

“There should be one policy, and it should be transparent,” Hainline said to the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s one change that Hainline would benefit from: stopping NCAA testing for marijuana as well as other recreational substances while persuading colleges to make their own deterrence programs.

“Our competitive safeguards committee said we should decrease the ban because (athletes) really aren’t doing it (recreational drug use) because of cheating,” Hainline added.

The NCAA, which has been screening top-level competitors for recreational and steroids since 1986, punished athletes who failed the tests at title occasions and football bowls by subjecting them to one-year suspensions. In 2014, the NCAA lowered that punishment to a six-month suspension, as indicated by the Star Tribune. Dr. Hainline trusts the NCAA ought to focus on busting competitors who use steroids and abandon it to the schools to manage the rest, ideally through treatment instead of discipline.

“The most important thing that I can’t emphasize enough is that as a society, we have to make a clear distinction between recreational drug use and cheating,” Hainline said to AP. “I really believe that they require two different approaches. One is more nuanced, and one is hardcore.”

Hainline added that championship events should not just test for marijuana.

“If there are any kids under the age of 18 smoking cigarettes, we should test for that,” he stated. “We certainly should be testing for alcohol for everyone under the age of 21. Then we ask ourselves, ‘Where does the moral authority stop?’ I’m all for moral authority as long as there is a philosophical consistency to it.”


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