"It's all in the skin": US sprinter sees racist undertones in Olympic doping cases

Feb 16 2022, 10:15 pm

US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson questioned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its decision to allow Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to continue to compete, despite a positive drug test from December surfacing last week.

After winning the 100-metre race at the US Olympic trials last summer, it was revealed that Richardson had tested positive for marijuana, and was therefore barred from competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

The athlete took to Twitter to call out the unfair treatment and racist undertones between her and Valieva’s cases.

“The only difference I see is I’m a Black young lady,” tweeted Richardson on Monday.

On Wednesday, the IOC dismissed Richardson’s comparison in a response

“Every single case is different,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told Reuters. “[Richardson] tested positive on June 19 [2021], quite a way ahead of the Tokyo Games.”

He went on to say that her results came early enough for the US Anti-Doping Agency to deal with the case in time for the Tokyo Olympics, which was pushed back a year to July 23, 2021, due to the pandemic. Richardson served a mandatory 30-day suspension.

“I would suggest there isn’t a great deal of similarity between the two cases,” Adams added.

THC, the intoxicant found in marijuana, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances. However, so is the drug that was found in Valieva’s test results, Trimetazidine. The heart medication is believed to be able to boost athletic performance, while THC does not.

Fans shared their support for Richardson on social media, highlighting the stark double standard in the doping cases.

Richardson reiterated in a separate tweet that “it’s all in the skin.”

Valieva is set to compete in the women’s singles free skate program on Thursday at 5 am. She is currently in first place with a score of 82.16 from her short program skate on Tuesday.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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