Sha’Carri Richardson on track

@itskerrii/Twitter

Sha’Carri Richardson receives Olympic ban after testing positive for weed—and people are mad

Many are wondering why weed is a still forbidden substance for Olympic athletes.

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Published Jul 2, 2021   Updated Jul 2, 2021, 11:00 am CDT

Sha’Carri Richardson is one of the breakout stars of this Olympic season, a champion 100m sprinter who is beloved both for her athletic skill and her distinctive charisma. But on Friday, the news broke that Richardson would not compete in the Olympic 100m race after all. Despite qualifying on June 19, she’s been suspended from competition after testing positive for a chemical found in marijuana.

Featured Video Hide

In an interview with the Today Show, Richardson said that she smoked marijuana to deal with the grief of losing her mother last month. “I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt. I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.” The day before the news broke, she tweeted simply: “I am human.”

Advertisement Hide

Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension is earning a lot of criticism, reawakening the debate about whether athletes should be penalized for using weed. For one thing, it’s not generally perceived as a performance-enhancing drug. And in many states, it’s perfectly legal. Public opinion is now at odds with the Olympics’ strict anti-drug rules. (Alcohol, meanwhile, is fine.)

Advertisement Hide

Some commentators are also highlighting this as an example of how Black women athletes seem to be judged more harshly than other demographics. On the same day that Richardson’s ban was announced, two female Namibian runners withdrew from the Olympics after their testosterone levels were deemed ineligible by Olympic standards. Meanwhile the International Swimming Federation is under fire for blocking the use of a swimming cap designed for afro hair.

Advertisement Hide
Advertisement Hide

Richardson has now begun a 30-day suspension, erasing her qualification to represent the U.S. in the 100m sprint. Jenna Prandini (who placed fourth) will join the Olympic team instead, alongside the second and third-place 100m runners. However, the U.S. Olympic team could theoretically name Richardson to join the 4x100m relay team.


Today’s top stories

‘Always dinner and a show’: Viral TikTok captures fight between worker and customer at Waffle House
‘Y’all really thought the people were gonna be on your side?’: TikToker slammed for filming confrontation with Wendy’s worker in drive-thru
TikToker shares video of guy at bar ‘mansplaining’ law to her—the day she took the bar exam
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 2, 2021, 10:46 am CDT