Sha’Carri Richardson Speaks Out After Olympic Figure Skater Fails Drug Test And Is Still Allowed To Compete
Sha’Carri Richardson is pondering the latest Olympic decision surrounding failed drug tests and Olympic competitors.
On February 7, it was announced that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for Trimetazidine, a heart medication that can impact endurance. Valieva, 15, is currently competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics being held in Bejing. It has been determined that she will be allowed to continue participating as the investigation ensues. However, if she places, no medals for any of the events she’s participating in will be granted, nor will a ceremony take place until the case comes to a conclusion.
Kamila Valieva during a February 13 training session.
Richardson, the 21-year-old track and field athlete who was barred from competing in the Olympics after she tested positive for marijuana, has spoken about the difference in treatment. “Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines?,” Richardson wrote on Twitter. “My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady.” Valieva is projected to win gold during Tuesday’s women’s individual event.
The Associated Press reported that Valieva classifies as a “protected person” because she is a minor and faces different rules than an adult.
“The panel considered that preventing the athlete to compete at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances,” General Matthieu Reeb said. Reeb is the Director General for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the committee that cleared Valieva to continue competing.
Richardson’s suspension, which was handed out by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, also included her Olympic tryout race time being stricken from the record and was highly contested across the country. Citizens in sports and beyond rallied for her to be able to participate but ultimately, she was not allowed to run during the 2021 Tokyo Games.
In September 2021, it was announced that the the World Anti-Doping Agency would review whether cannabis should remain a banned substance in sports competitions.
Read ESSENCE’s opinion piece about Sha’Carri Richardson, grace, and grief.