Richardson, 21, was favorite to medal in the women’s 100 meters at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and had won the event at the US Olympic trials. But she lost her spot on Team USA after testing positive for marijuana, which is banned but not considered a performance-enhancing drug.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Valieva, a favorite for women’s individual gold in figure skating, was cleared to compete at the Beijing Winter Games this week, despite testing positive for trimetazidine, a banned drug used to treat chest pain which could increase endurance. Olympics officials determined that Valieva would not need to be provisionally suspended before a full investigation.
Richardson asked on Monday why Valieva got the green light to compete despite uncertainty about her eligibility. US officials gave Richardson a 30-day suspension that barred her from competing.
“The only difference I see is that I’m a young black woman,” she wrote.
Richardson said last year she used marijuana before the Olympic trials after learning of her birth mother’s death.
The IOC said Monday that if Valieva finishes in the top three, there will be no medal ceremony during the Olympics. There will also be no ceremony for the team event she and the Russian team won a week ago. Medalists will be determined based on the results of the survey.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport, which made the decision, said Valieva’s age was one of the factors in its decision and that banning her “would cause her irreparable harm”.
Richardson wasn’t the only athlete to criticize the decision.
“You have athletes competing under two different systems, and we saw that today. It’s not fair, raise the minimum age so we can all play under the same conditions. It’s not the call “, tweeted former figure skater Ashley Wagner, who won a bronze medal with Team USA in 2014.
Meagan Duhamel, who won team gold for Canada in 2018, request“How is anyone going to take the women’s event seriously now? We were just told that illegal drugs and abuse were okay. If that’s what this sport is now, I don’t want nothing to do with it.