The Sha'Carri Richardson Situation Is Still Raising Eyebrows. Here's Why

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic games are well underway, and people are still reeling at Sha'Carri Richardson's suspension after the sprinter failed a drug test scoring her personal best at the Olympic trials. Per The Athletic, Richardson tested positive for THC — a chemical found in cannabis and marijuana — after she competed at the Olympic trials on June 8. The United States Anti-Doping Agency suspended Richardson for 30 days on June 28 and meant that she could not participate in the Olympic 100-meter event, which starts on July 30 with heats. Richardson may be eligible to participate in the 4x100 meter relay later in the Games — if she is named to the U.S. team, according to the outlet.

At the time, Richardson accepted the suspension and blamed her cannabis use as a way to cope with the unexpected death of her biological mother a week before Olympic trials began, per NBC. She apologized to her fans, family, and sponsors during the interview, saying, "I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did." However, Richardson vowed that another suspension "will never happen again," and she'd be ready to compete after her sanctions are lifted.

Days after the Olympic games started, Richardson's suspension is still generating a lot of discussion. Find out why people are defending her below.

Sha'Carri Richardson's Olympic suspension is puzzling

Sha'Carri Richardson's suspension from the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games has sparked outrage among celebrities and cannabis advocates who say that the United States Anti-Doping Agency's decision is inconsistent with its messaging in banning the substance, particularly because other athletes have publicly promoted it during the leadup to the Games.

In a Forbes article published on July 21, U.S. Soccer Women's National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe opened up about using CBD and promoted Mendi, a CBD company she co-founded with her sister Rachael Rapinoe. Megan had previously supported Richardson and said that all athletes should be able to use marijuana because it helps with pain management and inflammation, among other benefits. However, Megan's interview was not well received on Twitter with many users claiming that there was a double-standard with how both athletes are treated by officials and the media. "Not only was Sha'Carri chastised and humiliated — she wasn't even given a platform," a Twitter user wrote underneath Forbes' article, before adding, "They chalked it up to 'another Black person doing drugs.' But it's funny bc for Black people, it's marijuana. For white people, it's cannabis."

Other users also called Richardson's suspension "unfair" after BuzzFeed published a report on how an Olympic fencer was allowed to compete in the Games when he's being investigated for sexual assault. "Yet Sha'Carri Richardson was suspended for a month & can't participate in the Olympics because she tested positive for marijuana?" a user tweeted. "Make it make sense."