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Marijuana testing for Team USA basketball is a break from NBA protocol

(Photo: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

The 57 NBA players in consideration to represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, many of them currently playing in the postseason, will be subject to marijuana testing starting May 25.

Why is this news? Because since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic — so, the Disney bubble, and then for the entire 2020-21 season — the league has not randomly tested its players for marijuana. Due to the social restrictions to combat COVID-19, which meant a lot of isolation, the NBA chose to basically allow cannabis use.

But, according to a memo sent to all the 30 teams on Tuesday, which was obtained by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon, “each national team player” for Team USA will be subject to World Anti-Doping Agency testing, which includes cannabinoids, narcotics and also performance-enhancing drugs.

The players will be subject to such testing until they are no longer a part of Team USA, Team USA is out of the Olympics or the Olympics are canceled. Training camp for the Americans is set to begin on or just after July 1 in Las Vegas, coinciding with the NBA Finals. As teams start to lose in the playoffs (which start Saturday; the Play-In round began Tuesday), Team USA will begin to hear from players about whether they are interested in going to the Olympics. The Americans’ first game in Tokyo is July 25 against France. Once a player notifies Team USA that he is not interested, team officials can remove him from the national team roster.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Joe Vardon on The Athletic

Published: May 19, 2021

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