Justin Bullock, FISM News
Olympic sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, has been suspended for 30 days from competition and was not selected for the US Olympic team following a drug test in which she tested positive for THC which is the active component in marijuana. The two organizations responsible for overseeing the drug tests for Olympic athletes, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), have marijuana on their lists of forbidden drugs. In response to the suspension and failure to qualify for the US Olympic team over 500,000 people have signed a petition to re-instate Richardson and select her for the Tokyo Olympics.
The petition was created by the progressive group MoveOn. The organization is supported by several politicians like House Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland). Notably, President Biden has indicated that he does not support the petition, telling the press that the rules are the rules and that everyone should be held accountable to them. However, one of the secondary requests of the petition is for USADA and WADA to re-evaluate their inclusion of marijuana on their lists of banned substances and President Biden has indicated agreement that the marijuana rules should be re-evaluated.
Richardson is widely considered to be the fastest woman in the US and technically qualified for the Olympic team when she ran the 100 meter dash in 10.86 seconds. She was ultimately not selected for the Olympic team due to her positive drug test and her 10.86 second run was disqualified. For her part, Richardson told the press that the only reason she used marijuana was because she experienced panic attacks following the death of her birth mother a week before the Olympic try outs.
Ultimately, many people are sympathetic to Richardson’s cause and those same people believe that the rules surrounding marijuana should be re-evaluate. However, the authorities in charge of making the rules believe that it would be unfair to allow an exception to the rule only a few weeks before Olympic competition begins. The US Track & Field team released a statement expressing their sympathies to Richardson while also remaining committed to the current rules.
USATF’s statement regarding Sha’Carri Richardson: pic.twitter.com/x7w1K6HDe5
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 6, 2021