“Why is the United States Olympic team sending its second best wrestler to represent the nation?”
Portland, OR, July 27 — As the attention of the world turns to the opening ceremonies of the XXX Olympiad, the top female American wrestler in the 72 kg weight class will be watching from home—all because she fell victim to a double standard that plays out all too often in the American public.
Stephany Lee, the wrestler who made headlines last month when the United States Anti-Doping Agency handed down a one-year suspension for testing positive for THC, appeared on The Russ Belville Show on National Cannabis Radio today, in her first broadcast interview since the suspension was handed down on June 28th.
“Stephany Lee proved she was the best, because she beat the best; so why is it that we’re punishing her for choosing to use a substance that is safer than alcohol?” asks Russ Belville, host of The Russ Belville Show.
In a wide-ranging interview, Lee explained how she uses marijuana for medicinal purposes, but never applied for a “therapeutic use” exemption, believing she’d never be approved for it and would only draw more attention to her use, which had been revealed in 2009 when she had failed a urine screen for marijuana metabolites. Lee claims she had abstained from marijuana use for two weeks prior to her testing, twice as long as she had abstained to pass previous tests, yet she turned up positive on this test.
US Anti-Doping Agency bans any marijuana use, for reasons Lee says are primarily “because it’s illegal.” Lee and Belville detail how acceptable and celebrated alcohol use is among Olympic athletes, even how Budweiser is a major Olympic sponsor, despite its horrible physiological effects on athletes.
Lee also talks about her personal life and the joy she found in becoming legally married to her longtime partner while in Iowa for the Olympic Trials, where she defeated #1 seed Ali Bernard in dominating fashion to earn her spot on the Olympic Team. Iowa is one of only six US states that recognize the human right of full marriage equality for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Will Lee train to compete in the 2016 Olympics, and if so, will she be using marijuana until then? You’ll have to listen to the full interview to find out!