Richardson turned to Twitter to blast the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the decision to allow Valieva to compete.
"Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?" Richardson tweeted. "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."
Richardson also challenged the fact that even though Valieva tested positive in December, she was still allowed to travel to Beijing for the games.
"Failed in December and the world just now know however my resulted was posted within a week and my name & talent was slaughtered to the people," she said in another tweet.
"Not one BLACK athlete has been about to compete with a case going on, I don't care what they say!!!" Richardson continued.
But ultimately Richardson is 100% right. The decision to ban one athlete and allow another to compete for equal charges is not a level playing field.
The ruling made in favor of Valieva was done to protect the teen from “irreparable harm.”
“What about the irreparable harm it does to the integrity of the Olympic Games?” Adam Rippon, who is coaching the U.S. figure skater Mariah Bell at the games, told The New York Times. “If they’re afraid of irreparable harm and don’t want to hurt her mentally, they should get her out of here right now and get her to a psychologist — or at least her mom?”
Sounds a lot like the Stanford University student and champion swimmer Brock Allen Turner, who was sentenced to a mere six months in prison and three years of probation for three felony counts of sexual assault, because why should his life be ruined by “20 minutes of action,” as his father wrote to the judge—who is a Stanford grad as well.
The dope that Richardson was charged with and the dope Valieva was charged with are two very different substances.
Few people regard marijuana to be a performance-enhancing drug, and Richardson said she had smoked to relieve her grief following the recent death of her mother.
Cannabis remains on the list of banned substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list.
"I think this is a legacy of just kind of poor regulation in terms of not specifically saying what drug is banned for which event," Dr. Michael Joyner, a physician and researcher on exercise physiology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told NPR last July, "and also this sort of reefer madness sort of holdover."
But Richardson wasn’t the only person to be outraged over CAS’ decision.
“How is anyone going to take the women’s event seriously now?” figure skater Meagan Duhamel, who won team gold for Canada in 2018, told The Guardian. “We were just told illegal drugs and abuse are OK. If that is what this sport is about now, I want nothing to do with it. February 14, 2022. The day the Olympic spirit died.”
“It’s all just so unfair,” Rippon told the Times, adding: “And now it’s also so unfair to all of these ladies because their whole Olympic experience is now wrapped up in the controversy because a country doesn’t want to play by the damn rules.”
Valieva’s excuse for failing the doping test was that somehow she was contaminated by her grandfather’s medicine, and reports from Russia allege that trace amounts of the medication came from a shared glass or residue left on a counter.
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