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Olympic Gymnast Dominique Dawes Explains Why She Backs Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension

Olympic Gymnast Dominique Dawes Explains Why She Backs Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension
Mike Coppola/WireImage/Getty Images; Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Retired Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes made a public statement agreeing with the suspension of USA Track and Field sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson.

Richardson was suspended for 30 days and from running in the early track events for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The USA Track and Field team also decided to not include her in the Olympic relay race that will take place after her suspension is over.

The reason for her suspension is a failed drug test, which showed that Richardson had marijuana in her system.

Dawes made an appearance on Cuomo Prime Time on Wednesday, July 7 to explain why she supported Richardson's suspension, stating that "athletes are human" but ultimately "rules are rules."

Watch the video here:

Dawes stated:

"I do think, you know, because it is a current rule, they need to follow the rule, and unfortunately that does mean that Richardson will not be competing in these Olympic games."

The Olympic gold medalist then went on to argue she had experienced competing against those with an unfair advantage and how it made her a staunch supporter of the rules for the sake of fairness of the games.

She explained:

"My last Olympic games, there were rules out with regards to the age that an athlete had to be."
"However, Chinese gymnasts were underage and that truly affected myself and my teammates from... getting a bronze medal during the 2000 Olympic games."

Richardson has since issued an apology for her actions and stated the reason for her failed drug test is because she smoked marijuana as a way to cope with her biological mother's recent passing.

Richardson said:

"Being in that position in my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me...that definitely was a very heavy topic on me."

The sprinter added:

"As much as I'm disappointed, I know that when I step on the track, I don't represent myself."
"I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love, and I failed you all."
"So I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions."

Dawes also commented on Richardson's apology and willingness to take responsibility.

"I respect Sha'Carri Richardson for coming out and admitting her fault, and really saying she's human, that she made a mistake."

Richardson's suspension from the Tokyo Olympics sparked controversy among her fans as not only is recreational marijuana use legal in 19 states and medical legal in 36 states, there is also no evidence to suggest it enhances performance in any way.

Other fans' opinions fell in line with Dawes, expressing while they are disappointed Richardson won't be competing, "rules are rules".

Although many fans are outraged over the ruling to suspend her and then not choose her for the relay team, Richardson has accepted she will not compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

She is choosing to focus on herself for the time being.