Sha’Carri Richardson Being Suspended for Marijuana Use, Especially in a State Where It’s Legal, Is Ridiculous
Let Sha'Carri run!
Sha’Carri Richardson, the fastest woman in America according to the U.S.’s Track and Field contingents, has been suspended for a month after testing positive for marijuana. This suspension endangers her chances of attending the Tokyo Olympics, something that has been a long-time dream of Richardson. And the situation is made absolutely ridiculous when you take into consideration that she tested positive in Oregon, a state that has legalized marijuana use since 2015, with recreational sales beginning in 2017.
Sha’Carri Richardson is suspended for a month after testing positive for marijuana in Oregon, where it is legal. She cannot run the Olympic 100m race but may do relays.
She told NBC she used marijuana, banned by anti-doping agencies, to cope after her biological mother’s death. pic.twitter.com/YcPpUlWeOW
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 2, 2021
According to The New York Times, Richardson’s win in the women’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials has been invalidated by her positive test result, and it seems she won’t be allowed to compete in the event at the Olympics, though her suspension will end just before it begins. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibits “all natural and synthetic cannabinoids aka things like marijuana and hashish.” Why does it do that when plenty of states are legalizing marijuana, not to mention that it’s incredibly hard to believe that marijuana is unfairly boosting anyone’s athletic performance?
Richardson spoke to NBC Today, taking responsibility for her actions, and saying, “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do and am allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. I’m not making an excuse. I’m not looking for any empathy in my case.” And when asked if she’s hopeful that she’ll be allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, she said, “If I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it. But if not, right now, I’m really just focused on myself.”
USA Track & Field (USATF), the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States, also released a statement saying, “Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved. Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF’s most critical priorities and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future.”
Additionally, Richardson confirmed that her use of marijuana was due to learning that her biological mother had died days before the Olympic trials. “That sent me in a state of mind, in a state of emotional panic, if anything,” she said to NBC. Richardson is a champion for racing with that weighing heavily on her mind in the first place during the women’s 100-meter race. And her use of marijuana, in a state where it is legal, to help with that pain is understood, no matter what the WADA or USATF says about it.
And the internet, Twitter in particular, has her back when it comes to her racing, her talent, the ridiculousness of this situation, and the inherent and systemic racism that is also at the heart of this situation and that of Black and brown bodies being penalized for something that is becoming widely legalized across the United States.
Just when I was about to indulge in the nationalism the Olympics is designed to elicit, this bullshit snapped me back to my senses. Y’all don’t deserve her. Thank u, next. https://t.co/0FSp6RDewx
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 2, 2021
Good morning and Happy Friday to everyone except the Olympic Committee, for banning Sha’Carri Richardson for weed while Michael Phelps weed-coughs gold medals.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) July 2, 2021
free sha’carri from the the systemic racism that is allowing white people to capitalize on the same substance that is prohibiting her from running.
— triple b💕 (@Piinkmelanin) July 2, 2021
THIS IS THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS & UPSETTING THINGS I HAVE EVER READ. RICHARDSON IS ONE OF THE GREATEST RUNNERS IN HISTORY. IS MAKING HISTORY. MARIJUANA INCREASINGLY LEGALIZED ROUND COUNTRY. AND IS NOT “PERFORMANCE ENHANCING.” I AM SO UPSET. https://t.co/rjeGSNzkJE
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) July 2, 2021
If the Olympics think marijuana is a performance enhancing drug then a cup of coffee is a Schedule 2 narcotic
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) July 2, 2021
Expand the convo. Sha’Carri Richardson’s disqualification, as well as Christine Mboma’s and Beatrice Masilingi’s withdrawals, are part of the continued history of anti-Black racism by the IOC.
Beyond the games, the IOC is tied to human rights violations against Black people.
— Charles Preston (@_CharlesPreston) July 2, 2021
Get over it @Olympics.
Smoking dope ain’t making her faster than every other woman on earth.. her drive, work ethic, and swag do all that.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 2, 2021
Amazing how fast y’all turned on Sha’Carri.
Except it’s not amazing. It’s expected.
— SHA’CARRI STAN. (@MsPackyetti) July 2, 2021
seeing this Sha’Carri thing and i keep saying to myself “we can’t have anything”
but thats kind of how it works. systemic racism manifests everywhere. nothing stays pure for too long
— andrejgee (@andrejgee) July 2, 2021
So Sha’Carri accepted a 30 day suspension… on the 28th.. before any of us had heard of her smoking in the first place.
Im no expert, but her first race isn’t until the 30th.. so she.. can…. Still compete….right? pic.twitter.com/Rzkryi6Ieu
— Taye. 🇵🇷 (@TayeAkira) July 2, 2021
Black women have no space to grieve. We have no space to cope. We have no space to make mistakes.
She shouldn’t have to apologize.
— Dani Kwateng (@danikwateng) July 2, 2021
I stand with Sha’Carri!
— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) July 2, 2021
What a shame. Can we just let all athletes use Cannabis if they so choose? The argument that it is performance enhancing is about as convincing as saying Advil is performance enhancing. Let Sha’Carri Richardson Run! https://t.co/b9BI2o0iJM
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tyler) July 2, 2021
There are folks serving 3rd strike LIFE SENTENCES for weed. And y’all on here talking about “Sha’Carri should’ve known better”
No. Weed shouldn’t be illegal or a banned substance is the problem.
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) July 2, 2021
Y’all are moving really weird with this whole Sha’Carri Richardson ordeal. It’s lacking nuance and perspective. Have you ever lost your mother while becoming a worldwide fixture, with all eyes on you? We all have our ways to cope with loss & manage stress & anxiety.
— Shelton Boyd-Griffith (@flyrebel) July 2, 2021
i really wish sha’carri didn’t have to explain herself and put her personal pain on display over this.
— franny (@fufu_fran) July 2, 2021
Weed is not a performance enhancing drug. These WADA rules need to be updated. Let the woman run. #ShaCarri ♥️
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 2, 2021
– Sha’Carri disqualified for smoking weed
– Swim caps made for Afro hair are banned
– Black women disqualified because they have “too much testosterone”
All within 72 hours.
The Olympics has a huge problem with racism, sexism, and transphobia. Black women deserve better. https://t.co/aEuHIyKTv6
— Jon (@HolyFaguette) July 2, 2021
(image: Patrick Smith/Getty)
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