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16 Feb, 2022 16:54

IOC responds to drug-banned US sprinter’s claim about Valieva racial bias

Olympic bosses have rejected allegations of racial bias by runner Sha’Carri Richardson, who was banned for marijuana
IOC responds to drug-banned US sprinter’s claim about Valieva racial bias

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has responded to allegations of racial bias made by US sprint runner Sha’Carri Richardson, who accused the organization of double standards regarding the ongoing case with Russian figure Kamila Valieva.

The American sprinter was banned last summer after testing positive for marijuana.

The disqualification, which lasted for one month, caused Richardson skip the summer Olympics, where she was a strong medal contender.

She had placed first in the 100-meter Olympic trials for the US team, but was not allowed to join the Olympic squad due to the failed test.

Reacting to the recent decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which this week cleared figure skater Valieva for the individual event at the Beijing Olympics after prohibited medicine was detected in a doping test in December, Richardson said that the only difference she can see between herself and the Russian is that she is a “black young lady.”

Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine? My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top three. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady,” she tweeted on Monday.

The IOC responded to the criticism, stating that there are no similarities between the two cases.

You can’t talk about double standards in relation to Russian and American athletes, each case is individual,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams on Wednesday. 

Richardson’s positive doping test was discovered on June 19, 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.”

Adams added that Valieva's current ordeal must be tough for the 15-year-old skater. 

This Games, which has not concluded, concerns an issue in December. She [Valieva] is in the center of a lot of speculation. It must be very tough for her," Adams said. 

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.

Valieva, who is the favorite to win gold in the women’s single skating, will go into Thursday’s free skate as the event leader after winning the short program on Tuesday.

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