Is vaping in sports really as bad as the Twitter storms it causes make it seem? The most recent sighting of a vape pen on the sidelines occurred on January 7th in the UK and it was met with mixed reviews. Paul Doswell, the Sutton United manager, was caught on camera vaping during the action. Of course, the Internet had their say about the scene but the majority of the tweets were more shocked than mad about seeing a soccer team manager vaping. Managing can be stressful and relaxation is necessary but was he in the right taking in a few puffs?
The good news is that Doswell did not lose his position but the reason why had nothing to do with vaping being accepted on the sidelines. As Sutton chairman, Bruce Elliott , explains it, "We don’t pay him. It’s unique. Actually, not only do we not pay him a penny, he sponsors us. So he’s actually paying us to be our manager," Elliot said. "That’s how much he loves this club."
And that’s a non-athlete on the sidelines of his sport. There’s also the story of Nate Diaz, the 31-year-old UFC fighter who took a few puffs of a vape pen after a bout at UFC 202 on August 20, 2016. Later, the USADA announced that Diaz admitted to using the prohibited substance Cannabidiol during the in-competition period following the fight. Diaz believed he was in the clear to vape with a pen that contained the substance cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in marijuana.
Cannabidiol is only banned during the “in-competition” period as laid out by the UFC and Diaz thought he had exited that period, being that he was in the post-fight news conference and had already provided a post-fight blood and urine samples. How wrong he was! The in-competition period is actually defined in the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as “the period starting six hours prior to the commencement of the scheduled weigh-in and ending six hours after the conclusion of the Bout.” Diaz accepted a public warning for his policy violation and pointed out that he was unaware of the length of the in-competition period.
"It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that," said an earnest Diaz in the wake of the incident and he’s not the only athlete that want to be given a pass when it comes to the healing and pain management properties of vaping their favorite medicinal plant. Professional research has found a strong correlation between marijuana use and pain relief—a conclusion most athletes come to themselves through trial and error. Like former Baltimore Raven, Eugene Monroe, who came out publicly about the amount of pain that athlete go through, the pain management systems that wreck havoc on their systems, and the reason why he chose a more gentle route, using cannabis.