Track star Sha’Carri Richardson has alluded to racial discrimination by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after news broke of a Russian Olympian being allowed to compete despite testing positive for a banned substance.
Richardson—who was suspended and unable to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Games after testing positive for marijuana—took to Twitter to share her reaction to ice skater and gold medal favorite Kamila Valieva being given a pass to compete in the ongoing Beijing Games.
“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?” Richardson tweeted in response to a clip about the topic. “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.”
Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines? 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. https://t.co/JtUfmp3F8L
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) February 14, 2022
Valieva, who tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned substance normally used for heart complications, is believed to increase stamina, making it a performance-enhancing drug. In Richardson’s case, marijuana use is considered substance abuse by the IOC. However, being that Valieva is under 16-years-old and considered a “Protected Person” by The World Anti-Doping Agency, her case was given special consideration, as the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided that keeping her from competing would “cause her irreparable harm.”
Richardson was not the only figure to question the IOC and WADA’s decision, as the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee deemed it “another chapter in the systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.”