Lauren Gross, the 11 time Ironman world champion, has been given a six month ban for using THC. She posted on her instagram that she was using a cannabinoid (CBD) cream to treat an ankle injury but “the cream was tested and had more THC than it stated on the container”.
THC is the stain in cannabis that produces an euphoric high. CBD is commonly used to reduce pain, or promote healing.
“If anything, this should be eye-opening for athletes who also use CBD to treat injuries,” Gross wrote. “I am extremely depressed, nervous and unsure what I will do next.”
Gross’s next race was supposed to be the Ironman World Championships in Nice, France, on September 7. Ironman is an ultra triathlon, consisting of a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run.
Gross’s instagram is private, but the post was screenshot by ultra runner, Comrades winner, Camille Herron.
Gross has been dropped by her main sponsors, but still has other sponsors if she does decide to race again, she said. At the moment, it seems unclear if she will race ever again.
“I am somewhat forced to end my career racing as a professional athlete,” she said.
“And now the chapter is closed. On to new challenges,” she concluded.