A U.Due south. sprinter who was suspended from competing in the 2021 summer Olympics over a positive marijuana examination is challenging the recent decision to permit a Russian skater to continue to participate in this month’s winter games despite the discovery that she’d tested positive for a banned performance enhancement drug.

Sha’Carri Richardson’south break concluding year drove an international chat about the global sports policy disallowment Olympians from using cannabis, and it’southward even prompted a scientific review of the policy by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

But now the runner is openly questioning why she faced serious consequences when Russian skater Kamila Valieva, who helped her team bring dwelling house gold in one race and is considered the favorite for a dissever race, is being allowed to compete even afterwards testing positive for a banned substance.

Richardson said on Monday that she was confused past the seeming double standard. She said she wanted to “get a solid reply on the divergence of her situation and mines.”

“My mother died and I tin can’t run and was as well favored to place peak 3,” she wrote, referencing the personal circumstances that she said led her to use cannabis in a legal country final year. “The but departure I see is I’m a black young lady.”

“It’due south all in the skin,” Richardson tweeted.

It’s certainly a legitimate question, as black people have historically tended to be held a higher and more than discriminatory standard, particularly as it concerns drugs.

Richardson likewise pointed out that cannabis is “non a performance enhancing drug.”

The doping drug that Valieva tested positive for using, trimetazidine, is known to increase do elapsing and ameliorate cardiac performance—effects that could ostensibly have helped her, for example, historically state the first quadruple jumps made by a woman in an Olympic outcome this month.

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All of this said, there are also some other functional differences between the cases.

For one, Richardson’s suspension was a decision made by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which does operate in compliance with international athletics rules and has expressed sympathy for the state of affairs but ultimately insisted that its hands were tied.

Valieva, meanwhile, was temporarily suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after the results of her positive doping test were disclosed. The test was conducted in December, then there are questions most the timing of the information’due south release, but in whatever case, RUSADA later lifted the temporary pause, but to exist challenged past WADA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Skating Union (ISU).

On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)—an international body that resolves these types of Olympic disputes—released a statement rejecting the challenges, permitting Valieva to continue to participate. However, some penalties were imposed by IOC, such as the fact that there volition exist no medal ceremony held for her upshot if she finishes in the elevation 3.

While Richardson said she felt that race may accept played a factor in the ii different outcomes, CAS said that the reason was principally related to the fact that the 15-year-sometime skater is a pocket-size and therefore a “protected person” who is discipline to a different standard under WADA code.

“The RUSADA Anti-Doping Rules and the WADC are silent with respect to conditional suspension imposed on protected persons, while these rules accept specific provisions for different standards of evidence and for lower sanctions in the case of protected persons,” it said.

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“The CAS Ad hoc Division was requested to determine the narrow issue as to whether a provisional suspension should exist imposed on the athlete. It was not requested to dominion on the merits of this case, nor to examine the legal consequences relating to the results of the team consequence in figure skating, as such issues will be examined in other proceedings,” it continued.

Richard Pound, the first president of WADA, told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview on Monday that “certainly, in the Olympics, there’southward non a racial bias in annihilation that we do.”

“I retrieve the central for the Russian is that she’s a minor,” he said.

Still, some U.S. sports commentators are taken aback by the CAS decision. But the details and ongoing questions about this case notwithstanding, it’s the latest example of how the intersection of drugs and sports is becoming a broader question.

Richardson, for her part, said final year that she’d experience “blest and proud” if the attention her case raised would touch a policy change for other athletes. Even the White House and President Joe Biden himself weighed in on the case, with the president suggesting that in that location’south a question most whether the marijuana ban should “remain the rules.”

Pound commented on the extreme penalty for Richardson’s positive cannabis test, saying he doesn’t empathize why regulators “didn’t simply say, ‘sorry, nigh your mother, simply for god’due south sake, be careful with this stuff considering information technology’south still on the list and you’re exposing yourself to the possible sanctions,” rather than outright suspend her.

In an earlier interview with Marijuana Moment final year, he said that the the U.S. bears much responsibleness for the enactment of the cannabis ban.

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Outside of international sports, domestic able-bodied organizations in the U.S. have started to adopt different policies with respect to marijuana.

For instance, NFL’s drug testing policy already changed demonstrably in 2020 as office of a commonage bargaining agreement.

NFL players no longer face the possibility of being suspended from games over positive tests for any drug—not simply marijuana—under a collective bargaining understanding. Instead, they will face up a fine. The threshold for what constitutes a positive THC test was also increased under the bargain.

The NBA appear tardily last twelvemonth that is extending its policy of not randomly drug testing players for marijuana through the 2021-2022 season. The association won’t exist subjecting players to random drug testing for THC; however, they will proceed to test “for crusade” cases where players have histories of substance use.

In a similar vein, the MLB decided in 2019 to remove cannabis from the league’s list of banned substances. Baseball players tin can consume marijuana without gamble of discipline, but officials antiseptic last twelvemonth that they can’t work while under the influence and can’t enter into sponsorship contracts with cannabis businesses, at to the lowest degree for the time existence.

Marijuana icon Snoop Dogg, who was featured at the Super Basin halftime show on Sunday where an ad split aired that indirectly supported legalization, argued that sports leagues need to end testing players for marijuana and allow to them to utilize it as an culling to prescription opioids.

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