The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has officially responded to Sha’Carri Richardson after the 21-year-old track and field star called out the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to allow Russian skater Kamila Valieva the right to compete in the Beijing Olympics despite her positive drug test.
Earlier this week, Richardson took to Twitter where she slammed the international body, noting how race may have played a factor in the agency’s unfair decision. Richardson was disqualified from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after she tested positive for marijuana last year.
“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines?” she tweeted. “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.”
However, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams disputed Richardson’s claims during a press conference on Feb. 16.
“You can’t talk about double standards in relation to Russian and American athletes, each case is individual,” he stated, according to The Guardian.
“Every single case is very different,” Adams continued. “Richardson’s positive doping test was discovered on 19 June, and the result was received before the start of the Olympics. She was suspended for a month. There is nothing in common between these two cases.”
As previously reported, last week, the 15-year-old Valieva tested positive for a heart drug called trimetazidine that has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2014. The drug, which is used to improve blood supply to the heart in individuals suffering from coronary disease, could elevate a player’s heart rate, potentially boosting their ability to train for extended periods of time.
In their ruling, CAS stated that banning Valieva “would cause her irreparable harm” and she was also considered a “protected person” because of her age. During Wednesday’s press conference, Adams appeared to sympathize with Valieva’s situation.
“She is in the centre of a lot of speculation. It must be very tough for her, ” he added. “We, of course, are in touch with the team, her welfare is the team’s first priority, and obviously we are very careful of that but there’s only so much that we can do.”
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