Wow… USAT partners with CBD company…. Kansas City Marathon partners with CBD company as well… never thought I’d see the day when major endurance event brands are going into the nebulous supplement markets.  I mean, I get the monetary implications of these brands paying entities to be partners just like CLIF, Gatorade or anyone else, but CBD is pretty controversial in mainstream, let alone in the high octane fitness world of endurance sports.

BUT, I’m not here to debate or pick it apart, but I do want to share what IRONMAN officially stated to all IRONMAN University Certified Coaches this week.

Offiically I personally would not use CDB, as it’s just not on my radar, good bad or indifferent.  I would not recommend it to my athletes since I have not spent enough time educating myself about it, but I would advise ANY athlete to really understand what they at ingesting.  More than likely your typical age group athlete has nothing to worry about, however, you could be randomly drug screened per IRONMAN guidelines regardless of your finish ranking and one little bit of THC shows up and you’re toast.

I urge anyone looking into or using CBD to check if their substance has been vetted by the testing agencies they use and listed as safe, or find a product that is.

Read below for IRONMAN’s official stance.

Good Afternoon Coaches,

As an IRONMAN U Certified Coach you are an important representative of our sport and we want to keep you up to date on the most recent happenings around the industry.

Recently CBD has been a hot topic and has seen some recent changes. We have been working with our Anti-Doping group to provide information that you can dispense to your athletes.

Following the recent announcements by USA Triathlon as well as an increase in the number of individual athletes who have entered into partnership deals with cannabidiol (CBD) companies, the time seemed right to reconnect with our IRONMAN® coaches on this matter. We want to make sure our IRONMAN coaches and their  athletes are aware and making safe, healthy and informed decisions given that athletes are responsible for any substance found in their blood or urine.

For our part, IRONMAN seeks to ensure that products we provide on course do not conflict with the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Rules and the WADA Prohibited List. IRONMAN mandates that only supplements that have been independently tested by one of a select group of third-party laboratories can be served on course or provided by our partners.  IRONMAN does not currently partner with or allow CBD products in the IRONMAN Villages at our races. We also want you to understand the following, specific to CBD products:
  • Cannabinoids and CBD Products:
    • Although CBD is not prohibited, athletes should be extremely cautious as it is currently very difficult to obtain a consistently pure CBD extract or oil from the cannabis plant. Anyone who buys a CBD oil, extract, or other CBD product should assume that it is a mixture of CBD and other prohibited cannabinoids like THC and therefore creates potential risk for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. 
    • It is impossible to know how much THC or other cannabinoids are in a CBD product just from looking at the label, and it is impossible to predict how individual athletes will metabolize and excrete THC or other cannabinoids. 
    • Unlike supplement products, IRONMAN does not currently recognize or recommend a third-party certification standard for CBD due, in part, to a lack of consistent regulation.
    • All natural (cannabis, marijuana, and hashish) and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited in-competition.
    • These products and the regulations around them are rapidly changing, so we will continue to work with our athletes and our partners, including WADA and other Anti-Doping Organizations, to communicate if or when there are widely accepted standards to identify safe and permitted products.
It is important to remember that, although CBD is currently a trending topic, it is one piece of a much larger puzzle of supplements, medications and methods with which you and your athletes must familiarize yourselves. WADA just released its 2020 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (WADA Prohibited List) which will go into effect January 1, 2020, so now is the time to ensure that all of your athlete’s have reviewed all medications, substances, supplements and treatment methods against the WADA Prohibited List. Likewise, if you, or any of your athletes, have a personal partnership or a sponsorship with any supplement company, evaluate those companies carefully and use your influence to ensure that they are providing you, and all athletes, only products that have been tested and certified for quality, purity and safety.
    • It is important to know if a supplement is high-quality and free from prohibited substances BEFORE use. A thorough third-party certification program that tests for performance-enhancing drugs is an important risk-reduction step for athletes.
    • Being told by a supplement company that its products are “safe” and have been screened is not sufficient.
    • Unless a supplement has been independently certified by one of the organizations listed below, it should be considered high-risk.
    • The WADA Prohibited List also identifies methods that athletes cannot use. As with medications, athletes should check the status and confirm TUE requirements if using or intending to use a prohibited method.
    • For example: All IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100mL (~6.8 tablespoons) per 12-hour period are prohibited at all times, both in- and out-of-competition, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, etc.

When in doubt about any of your or your athletes’ responsibilities under the IRONMAN Anti-Doping program, seek advice from your National Anti-Doping Organization or reach out to the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program directly for assistance. Additional resources are also available in the Anti-Doping section of our website at:

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