Golfer Rory McIlroy says he is paranoid at the prospect of one day failing a drugs test following the three-month ban imposed on US pro Matt Every for taking medicinal cannabis.
30-year-old former world number one was addressing a press conference ahead of
the Zozo Championship in Japan today when he was asked about the suspension.
Every was booted off the PGA Tour after failing a drugs test, despite taking
medical cannabis prescribed from his home state of Florida where it is entirely
is prohibited on the PGA-approved World Anti-Doping Agency list of illegal
substances, cannabis derivatives like CBD were last year approved as permitted.
However, CBD use by professional golfers comes with the warning that many
products have traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive
cannabinoid which remains a banned substance.
Many athletes throughout the world have turned to CBD as a natural alternative to opioid painkillers or as a recovery aid. But it looks like Northern Ireland’s McIlroy won’t be joining their ranks any time soon.
“I’m very aware of the
banned substance list,” he explained in Japan earlier today.
“I’m very careful with what I put
into my body and I couldn’t tell you if CBD oil is good for golfers because
I’ve never tried it.
“It’s tough because I
take a very strong stance on performance-enhancing drugs or banned substances.”
The three-times PGA
Tour Player of the Year, who also spent 95 weeks at the top of the official
world golf rankings, added that he was simply too conservative on almost every level
to even risk taking CBD.
“I wouldn’t be comfortable taking
CBD oil,” he explained.
“I would be too
paranoid that there would be THC in it and then that could lead to a positive
“I am the most conservative on
everything – I try not to take anything in terms of pills to help in any way.
“I’m even scared to
take painkillers sometimes, like an Advil, I would rather just not.”
Now in his 12th year as a professional, McIlroy opened his account today at the Narashino Country Club some way down the leader board, posting a laboured two over as Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland streaked ahead as joint leaders on six under before heavy rain forced a second-round postponement.