‘Insane’: Tennis world reacts to Casey Kania ban over weed

Published on March 1, 2024 by David Wylie

Casey Kania celebrates in happier times Photo: University of Carolina
Casey Kania has been banned from pro tennis, including attending events, for having cannabis in his system during a drug test.

A pro tennis player is calling out the sport for banning a lower echelon player over cannabis, while at the same time turning a blind eye to the prevalent use of amphetamines.

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who turned pro in 2017 and is currently ranked No. 464, sarcastically criticized the International Tennis Integrity Agency’s decision to suspend Casey Kania for two years.

“Thank god they caught this unranked guy for smoking weed. Was def giving him an edge over the competition. Way more important than all the dudes on tour taking amphetamines,” says Kwiatkowski on X.

Kwiatkowski’s career-high ranking was No. 181, and he’s bagged nearly $500,000 in prize money.

“I’m not advocating for weed to be legal, I’m saying the doping agency loves to waste time with this stuff instead of the huge number of players actually taking performance enhancers. (Adderall),” he says in another post.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced the punishment this week.

Kania, 21, a low-ranked American tennis player with a career-high doubles ranking of 1,317 and $482 in career tennis winnings, tested positive for cannabis during an ATP Challenger tournament.

The ITIA says he’ll also have to forfeit his meager winnings.

Kania will be suspended until Feb. 1, 2026, for his breach of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.

“Cannabis is a cannabinoid banned in competition,” says the ITIA. “Kania did not possess a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the substance.”

“The ITIA accepted that Kania did not intentionally breach the provisions of the TADP, but the player was unable to demonstrate that they bore No Fault or Negligence for their violation. Therefore, a two-year period of ineligibility (rather than a four-year sanction for an intentional violation) was imposed, as set out in TADP article 10.2.2.”

Fan reaction was colourful online.

“Two years for weed is fucking insane,” says Petty Crocker on X.

One fan cheekily wondered, “What are they worried about, him emptying the snack cart?”