The source of U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s anti-doping rule violation was not a missed drug test or forged hospital records. It was not an anabolic steroid like stanozolol or nandrolone. It was Cannabis. That left many most sports fans scratching their heads. In what world does Cannabis help people run faster? How could Richardson’s one month suspension, which the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday, be the result of a substance that is legal in 18 states?
How could the 21-year-old be effectively barred from competing in her primary event — the 100-meter dash — at the Tokyo Olympics, because of a drug that has not been proven to enhance athletic performance?
This week the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties wrote a letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Friday to protest the suspension of track star Sha’Carri Richardson.
“This punishment, which is not supported by any scientific evidence, may prevent Ms. Richardson from competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics just after she inspired the country with her performance in the Olympic Trials last month. We urge you to reconsider the policies that led to this and other suspensions for recreational marijuana use, and to reconsider Ms. Richardson’s suspension. Please strike a blow for civil liberties and civil rights by reversing this course you are on,” Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) wrote in a letter co-signed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“The ban on marijuana is a significant and unnecessary burden on athletes’ civil liberties,” the representatives wrote. “The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate ‘any matter’ at ‘any time’ under House Rule X,” the representatives noted.
sources: Raw Story, Newsweek, USA Today, NBC