The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a letter on Saturday speaking out against claims that sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension for marijuana usage was due to racism, an allegation pushed by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“While we sympathize with the circumstances of this case and applaud Ms. Richardson’s accountability for accepting that the rules are in place for athletes worldwide, WADA simply plays a coordinating role in the development and publication of the prohibited list,” President Witold Banka wrote.
“As you correctly note in your letter, the testing of Ms. Richardson and her resulting suspension were administered and adjudicated by the USADA. WADA is not a party to that particular matter and therefore simply is not in a position to vacate the results of Ms. Richardon’s test in Oregon,” she added.
The letter included the relevant rule requirements applied in the case, clearly indicating the suspension was based on long-standing policy well-known to U.S. Olympic athletes. The decision had nothing to do with race, but rather testing positive for a known banned substance.
AOC has previously tweeted Richardson’s suspension was “an instrument of racist and colonial policy.”
“The IOC should reconsider its suspension of Ms. Richardson and any athletes penalized for cannabis use,” she added.
The Olympic Games have taken a beating when it comes to rule changes in recent months. Most notably, a New Zealand weightlifter who previously competed as a man has now been accepted as a female weightlifter at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Other athletes are expressing concerns that may arrive regarding expressions of social justice. The Olympic Games have prohibited apparel for social justice causes such as BLM, but may not be able to do much over athletes who turn their back or kneel during the National Anthem.
It’s an odd situation where woke athletes and their backers want to change the “system” to fit their wishes, even when it is not based in reality. What would happen if the Olympics changed their decision and allowed Richardson to run? Every time someone else tests positive for a banned substance, someone could blame racism and break the rules.
Wouldn’t it be great if athletes could just focus on their sport instead of politics? Richardson, for her part, owned up to her bad choice and took responsibility for her action. Other athletes have chosen a different path, such as Gwen Berry’s turn around to the playing of the National Anthem. Who knows what the NBA athletes will do? Will they kneel at the Anthem? Sadly, if they can’t do better than losing to Nigeria in exhibition games, the option may not matter for long.
In some sports, the nation appears to be losing its competitive edge. Whether wokism is the reason or something else is a matter of debate. But less debate and more focus on improving in competition would be a nice switch for most Americans.