I normally do not like to get involved in racial rows for fear of not being politically correct in my opinion but I just couldn’t stay quiet about this story. Richardson was supposed to make his Olympics bow in Tokyo next month and was tipped to win the 100 meter women’s race. But upon her win in the time trials in Oregan USA she tested positive to the old Mary Jane(Marijuana in other words) leading to a one month suspension from 28 June 2021. Normally she could return to the track just before the start of Tokyo 2020 but TEAM USA saw fit TO EXCLUDE her all together. Now how do the US Anti doping Agency conduct these tests, are they random or somebody snitched on Richardson. Now according to the USADA tests can be conducted 365 days a year, out of competition without notice and athletes are required to notify them of their whereabouts in what they call “filings”. However there are exemptions for use of therapeutic drugs in the case of illness or psychological conditions. This is not to deny athletes the critical meds they need whilst also keeping in mind the need to create a level playing field. Whenever a record is broken at a US event, organizers of such an event could call a HOTLINE to get agents to do a drug test on the record holder(Controversial).
Now I do not mean to pick on Sha in anyway but as a sportswoman she knew the rules that applied to the sports that she is in. She has the right to do whatever she does to her body but if she is in sports she darn well follow their rules. She has a valid reason for taking Mary Jane. She was suffering a grave bereavement and we all cope with grief in our own way. It was a lapse in judgement from herself in that she should have sort counselling and psychological help from experts instead of self medicating herself. However USADA has a case to answer here especially in the setting up of their rules. For one how random is a random test? For me there is no such thing as random especially if it involves a human being. Human beings are emotional animals, and are a product of how their parents and community raised them. If I was raised by a bigoted or misogynistic dad for example, those beliefs tend to spill over to my adulthood, will end up despising gays or females. So someone in that Agency chose to go after Richardson for reasons best known to them. As for the fact that marijuana doesn’t affect athletes performance, that could be the same to say caffeine has no performance enhancement capabilities, the jury is still out on that one. One school of thought says it helps one focus which is what is needed in competitive sport. Some say cannabis triggers the hormone testosterone to be released so it aids in performance. The fact of the matter is even the World Anti Doping Agency has put it on the list of banned substances for a reason, if not physiological reasons then its moral to avoid any kind of controversies should an athlete win a race or a medal.
Lastly whilst the decision to ban her for a month may not have been racist, the decision to not pick her for the TEAM certainly is. It is the same kind of nonsense that is pulled on black people who have served time in jail, you become ostracized for making a mistake for the rest of your life. They end up right back in jail. Richardson would have done her punishment so not picking her for the team has an element of discrimination about it. What many do not realize is that she may come back to running but that stigma will never go away. Whenever she runs someone will wonder if she is clean or not. For that US Olympic committee owe her an apology for continuing the punishment instead of offering her support. Finally more transparency is needed in he case of the effects of marijuana on endurance from the relevant experts so that once and for all the controversy is put to bed. THEY SHOULD LET HER RUN.