Banned Olympian Talks Marijuana Use

This athlete is pro-marijuana and isn't afraid to say it...or use it.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

American wrestler Stephany Lee was sitting in her home in Colorado Springs when she heard Monday that judoka Nicholas Delpolo had been thrown out of the Olympics after failing a drug test which he blamed on inadvertently eating baked goods laced with marijuana. Lee, like Delpolo, had tested positive for marijuana use and it cost her a spot in these London Olympics.

Unlike Delpolo, however, Lee fully admits to using the drug and even went so far as to saying that a large amount, at least "a good 50 Olympic athletes" use marijuana regularly before they stop in time for testing.

"We all regulate our consumption," Lee said. "It's not like we have to do a competition and we are continuously on this; that's not how it works. We know when the tests are going to be because they come to the biggest events. A month before this I am not going to do this anymore, just for the simple fact that you'll have to clean your system.

"We party just as hard as we train, especially when it's over. People are going to do what they are going to do regardless. Just because there is a test on it doesn't mean people are going to stop it. It just means they will change how they are using it and their consumption of it. I'm pretty sure that if athletes were to all party together — who wouldn't, you know?"

Marijuana use among athletes is becoming more and more common and as it becomes more widely accepted among the populace of the world as a drug that is mostly harmless, it's use is beginning to skyrocket, especially among athletes who need something to relax them after a hard day of intense training and competition.

Lee points to the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, as a prime example of how using marijuana isn't a hindrance to achieving your goals in life. In 2009, Phelps was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Though he never failed a drug test, he received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming.

"That was evidence that he does do that," Lee said of Phelps during an interview with USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "And you're still going to be able to achieve your dreams regardless. Look at him. He's awesome. He's the best athlete ever in the Olympics. It's a double standard. If you already make a name for yourself, then what happens afterward really doesn't matter. … I'd rather have my situation (of not going) than getting kicked out of the Olympic Village"

Overall, Lee concludes that marijuana use is safer than alcohol and that it's use wouldn't give her any edge in competitions. In fact, she states, if anything, the use of the drug would hinder her ability to compete.

"You can be a drunk and compete," Lee said. "They are not going to crack you because you come into practice smelling like alcohol. They don't test you for that. You can be completely alcohol intoxicated, and it's not going to matter because nobody cares and it is legal.

"It's better for you to be a pothead than it is to be an alcoholic. It's better for you to be a pothead than it is to be a crackhead. It's better for you to be a pothead than it is for you to be a meth-head. You don't go on rampages and do all kinds of crazy stuff when you are just a stoner. You just chill."

Olympic Medal Count (as of Tuesday Morning):

  1. China-69

  2. United States-64

  3. Great Britain-44

  4. Russia-43

  5. Japan-28

James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

Photo Credit:
By: Al Bello
Collection: Getty Images Sport
Getty Images