By Madeleine Pearce
Boston University Press Office
American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson took to Twitter last week to wonder why Russian skater Kamila Valieva had been cleared to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics after a failed doping test.
Richardson, a favorite for the gold medal, was due to compete in the Tokyo Olympics over the summer before a positive drug test led her suspension. US Olympic team trial winner tested positive for THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, and lost opportunity to race in the 100 women meters. Richardson admitted to smoking marijuana after learning about the death of his biological mother.
Last week, Richardson posted a series of tweets following the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision decision to allow Russian skater Kamila Valieva to continue competing after testing positive for trimetazidine – a banned heart drug.
“Can we get a solid answer on the difference between his situation and mine? Richardson tweeted. “My mum died and I can’t race and I was also favored to finish in the top 3. The only difference I see is that I’m a young black woman.”
the to taste from the positive test result was taken on December 5, 2021. Valieva’s results were not released until more than 40 days after the test date, when she had already led Russia to a medal gold in team figure skating in Beijing on February 7. .
Previously the to research ruled that Valieva’s status as a “protected person” precluded her from facing a provisional suspension and argued that removing her from the contest would cause her “irreparable harm.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency lists a “protected person” as an athlete under the age of 16.
“If she’s talented enough to compete against the best in the world, then she should be held, in many ways, to the same standards and expectations as they are,” said Anthony Sherrod Blakely, a Boston University professor and president of the Associated Newspaper Sportswriters Diversity Committee.
The International Olympic Committee reacted to the court’s decision by postponing medal ceremonies Should Valieva make it into the top three.
“But still, having someone who has a positive doping test competing in these Olympics is just a slap in the face for all those athletes who are doing it the right way,” said Christine Brenan from CBS in response to the IOC’s announcement.
The scandal surrounding Valieva’s positive doping test follows Russia’s long history of athletes using performance-enhancing drugs. In 2019, a report outlining a state-sponsored program for athletes to use illegal drugs led to Russia’s two-year ban from the Olympics. The ban prevented Russian athletes from performing under the Russian flag and playing their national anthem, which resulted in several Russian athletes losing medals.
“It should come as no surprise that they are embroiled in some sort of doping scandal again,” Blakely said. “There is a lot of irony in the IOC’s justification for allowing this athlete to continue and not have a medal ceremony.”