American track and field sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson called out the double standard ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a Russian figure skater being eligible to compete after failing a drug test.
Mediators ruled that Kamila Valieva–the 15-year-old skating on behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)–could skate in the women’s individual event during the 2022 Winter Olympics.
She was granted eligibility despite a positive test result dated December 25, 2021, for trimetazidine–a performance-enhancing drug listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances list.
Richardson, on the other hand, was denied the chance to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo entirely after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had suspended her for one month when she tested positive for THC metabolites.
Like the trimetazidine found in Valieva's test sample is on WADA's list of prohibited substances, so are THC metabolites–the intoxicant in marijuana.
But unlike trimetazidine, THC is not used for boosting athletic performance–a fact that did not go unnoticed by social media users.
After Monday's CAS ruling on Valieva being eligible to skate became public during the medal ceremony for the team figure skating competition—despite her positive drug test result prior to the winter Games—Richardson took to social media and called out the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and CAS for hypocrisy.
"Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines?"
"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."
People in support of the U.S sprinter weighed in on the controversy.
In determining Valieva's ruling to compete in the women’s individual event, the CAS noted they “considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm and the balance of interests.”
The Daily Dotmentioned those factors included Valieva's age, how at 15 she is still considered a minor and she is classified as a "protected person."
In any case, the IOC did issue a statement indicating the young skater will not get a ceremony in the event she wins until the matter is resolved.
The statement read:
“Should Ms. Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the women’s singles skating competition, no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games."