US judo competitor Nick Delpopolo was disqualified from Olympic competition this week after he tested positive for marijuana, making him the first competitor to fail a drug test during the 2012 London Olympics. The culprit? According to Delpopolo it was a single pot brownie.
The 23-year-old competitor had finished 7th in the 73-kilogram class last Monday, hardly enough to compete for a medal, yet he now owns the distinction as one of the first athletes to go home over doping charges.
Delpopolo tells the Associated Press that he inadvertently ate the banned substance in brownie form.
In a public statement the judo athlete further proclaimed:
“I apologize to the US Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake.
I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will re-dedicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”
Sky News further reports that the United States Olympic Committee confirmed the brownie story.
The IOC in announcing the athletes termination stated that his “Olympic identity [will be] canceled immediately.”
While Nick Delpopolo says the pot brownie incident was an accident he waived his right to go before the Disciplinary Commission.
Athletes who face doping charges are automatically handed a two-year ban from international competition.
Marijuana consumption is widely accepted as an illegal substance, although most experts agree that it is unlikely to give competitors an edge over their competition outside of sports such as golf and skeet shooting where a steady hand is favorable over a nervous tick.
Do you think marijuana should be considered a banned substance in the Olympics?