‘The rules are the rules’: US President Joe Biden on Sha’Carri Richardson’s sprinting suspension

Former US President's son Donald Trump Jr. too made his interest on the issue clear and gave a rationale as to why the suspension should be withdrawn.

Plawan SarmaAuthor

Updated - 09 July 2021 10:43 PM

US President Joe Biden and Richardson

The ousting of 21-year old sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson from the US Olympic Team has stirred a wide range of reactions across the globe with the nation's supremo finally showing that he's not been untouched by the wave. Richardson, who had qualified for the Olympics by clocking a time of 10.86 seconds and in the process becoming the youngest women to win the 100m Olympic trials since Alice Brown, was later dropped from the team after it was discovered that she consumed Marijuana, that forms a part of the list of consumables prohibited by the Montreal-based regulatory organization, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

She had tested positive for cannabis consumption during the 100m trials, in a test conducted by the USADA (US Anti Doping Agency). Richardson sought forgiveness for her action which she defended by saying that she had marijuana after she heard the news of her mother's death and that she never consumed any other serious performance enhancement drugs.

Rules are rules: US President Joe Biden

Reacting to the issue, US President Joe Biden expressed his sympathy but also mentioned that "rules are rules" and nothing much can be done about it. He also put emphasis on the fact that Richardson was well aware of what the rules said. “The rules are the rules and everybody knows what the rules were going in,” Biden said. “Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules.”

Former US President's son Donald Trump Jr. too made his interest on the issue clear and gave a rationale as to why the suspension should be withdrawn.

The USATF, too, has expressed solidarity towards the athlete before dismissing her from the USA 4x100 relay team. In a statement used by the organization, it said that it “fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated.” Talking about her exclusion from the team, the USATF said “It would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games". “All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current anti-doping code, and our credibility as the National Governing Body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances. So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team," the statement further read.

If weed made you fast, I’d be FloJo: Seth Rogen

Earlier, popular Canadian-American actor Seth Rogen, an overt consumer of cannabis himself, took Richardson's side and slammed the US authorities for dropping Richardson from the side. He even mentioned that the suspension of the athlete is 'rooted in hatred and racism'. "The notion that weed is a problematic “drug” is rooted in racism. It’s insane that Team USA would disqualify one of this country’s most talented athletes over thinking that’s rooted in hatred. It’s something they should be ashamed of. Also if weed made you fast, I’d be FloJo," said Rogen, while making a reference to legendary US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, hailed as the fastest woman of all time.

Although her one-month ban, a reduced sentence from the usual 3-month tenure, ends on July 28, two days before the commencement of women's 100 m event at the Olympics, it's the affect of the consumption on her previous performance that has rendered her disqualified from participation since the apprehension of the authenticity of the qualifying standards met by her remains doubtful. Richardson was subjected to a reduced sentence as she had cannabis outside of competition and had also undergone a successful counseling.


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