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Joseph M. Hanna Quoted in NBC News after Sha’Carri Richardson’s Positive Test for Marijuana Ends her Olympic Bid

July 6, 2021
Joseph M. Hanna

“It’s not a steroid,” Goldberg Segalla’s Joseph M. Hanna said in an interview with NBC News about U.S. track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who was suspended for a month after testing positive for THC. “It’s not a growth hormone. It’s nothing to make you run faster, jump faster, throw faster—furthest thing from that. It has more of an opportunity to slow you down than to speed you up.”

In the article, Joe, co-chair of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment and Retail and Hospitality groups, discussed the suspension and how it puts Richardson out of the running for the 100-meter race at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo. He points out there is a precedent for doping rules changing, explaining that caffeine was once banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency―the governing body that determines which substances are prohibited for use entirely by athletes or banned during competition periods. He also shared that we may see the ban on marijuana relaxed as well.

“I would be very surprised if over the course of the next four years, by the time we come to the next Olympic games, this hasn’t been looked at very hard or changed.”


Advocates Say THC Does Not Enhance Sports Performance. So Why Is It Banned?,” NBC News, July 2, 2021


With a national practice and industry-wide reputation for leadership, Joseph M. Hanna is consistently ranked among the top 10 attorneys based in Western New York in Business First’s annual Legal Elite, and in 2015, Joe was the youngest honoree ever to be named Lawyer of the Year in the Bar Association of Erie County’s 130-year history. Joe is also a leading voice for diversity in the legal and business communities. He is chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Diversity Task Force and has held multiple leadership roles in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) as well as diversity-related positions within the American Bar Association (ABA), DRI, and other organizations.