According to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) athletes who smoke cannabis or Spice in-competition potentially endanger themselves and others because of increased risk taking, slower reaction times and poor executive function or decision making but outspoken coach J.E Sarpong says the issue of drug usage in Ghana football did not start today because even arguably the greatest Ghanaian goalkeeper of all time Robert Mensah would not go the pitch if he is not allowed to smoke some weed.
The WADA Prohibited List identifies marijuana and cannabinoids as substances that are prohibited in-competition. Unless an athlete has an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), the use of substances when they are prohibited in sport may lead to an anti-doping rule violation and sanction but outspoken Sarpong alleges more than half of Ghana league professional footballers smoke marijuana and that some even take it before games.
“Some even smoke wee and come to play and after games some too go and smoke it. Former Black Stars goalkeeper Robert Mensah those times if you don’t buy him wee, he won’t play and this was even confirmed by the late Ghana FA chairman Ben Koufie who said at one time, he had to buy marijuana for Robert Mensah before he kept the post” the veteran coach JE Sarpong told Sportsworldghana.com exclusively.
“Odame, Oppong all in Kotoko were smoking marijuana back then so who doesn’t know some Ghanaian players smoke wee” Sarpong further quizzed.
Meanwhile Aduana Stars captain Yahaya Mohammed called out coach Sarpong inviting him to retract what he terms “baseless allegation” but the former Liberty Professional coach – credited for the early discovery of Asamoah Gyan – would not budge.
“When I say about 60 percent of Ghanaian players smoke ‘’weed’’ you are telling me what am I talking about, where were you when I started coaching” Sarpong responded to Yahaya.
“As someone who has coached on the local scene for close to four decades from the grassroots to the top level, I have dealt with footballers at all levels and I know what I am saying. There is a wee smoker in every team in the country. Coach Sarpong exclusively told this website.