The only rational justification for suspending world-class sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from official competition as a result of a positive test for a largely legal drug with no real performance-enhancing qualities was this: Rules are rules. The rule against marijuana use is on the books, and she never tried to blame her violation on the person administering the test, or some contaminated food, or a supplement that did not include THC among its ingredients.
“I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do, I know what I can’t do and I still made that decision, “he told NBC News. “I’m not going to make any excuses.”
She did it. She will serve her punishment.
Which is, by law: 30 days out of competition.
With the suspension effective June 28, his conclusion will not come until after the first rounds of the women’s 100-meter dash are completed, ruining his dreams of claiming a gold medal in the event he dominated in the United States Olympic Trials. United. However, the extension of that race to a team competition, the 4 × 100-meter relay, doesn’t begin until August 5, after Richardson’s suspension expires.
However, Richardson will not run because USA Track & Field chose not to include her on the Olympic team, a decision was announced Tuesday. So the lesson here is: rules are rules and sanctions are penalties, unless we decide to make them even harsher to make ourselves feel more imperial.
The second worst part of the USATF’s indefensible decision is that the organization tried to placate critics of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rule on marijuana – and they are legion, with nearly half a million signatures on the “Let Sha ‘petition. Carri Run “- by claiming to sympathize with the cause.
The official statement: “While the USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules pertaining to THC should be reassessed, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the US Olympic Team Trials. competition, just a few weeks before the Olympics. “
So what they are saying is that Richardson’s 10.84 time on trials last month in Eugene is no longer; was illicitly “enhanced” by a drug that, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the NIH, has effects that include “impaired body movement,” “difficulty thinking and problem solving,” and “altered sense of time. . “
Does any of that sound like it’s going to get a sprinter off the blocks faster?
Not that Richardson’s performance in the Olympic trials was an outlier. She ran the sixth fastest time ever, 10.72, in an April meet in Miami. His trial time would have ranked in the top 40 of all time. In that race, she finished one yard ahead of the closest competitor, Javianne Oliver, and more than 3/10 of a second ahead of seventh-place finish Aleia Hobbs.
His career in the Trials was not a strange event. She is the best America has by far. So that’s the worst part of your mission. USATF had some discretion here. Their mission is to fairly establish the best possible team for the Olympics. There would have been more than enough justification for including it.
The United States won the last two golds in the women’s 4 × 100 relay, but those were the only two victories of this century. Victory is not a fact. Richardson, 21, would have been fresh and motivated if he were selected to participate in the relay. It would have been her only chance to claim a gold medal at an Olympics where she was positioned to star in, a chance at redemption that she almost certainly would have seized.
Instead, you will see, if you like, on television with the rest of the world, the victim of a foolish politics that should go away.