U.S. women’s sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last month, was suspended last week from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, The Daily Wire reported.
Following the announcement, a petition from MoveOn asking for Richardson to be a participant in the Tokyo Olympics has garnered more than half a million signatures — 560,000 by Thursday morning.
The petition says Richardson’s suspension is predicated on an “outdated and arbitrarily enforced rule around marijuana.”
“In no world is marijuana a performance-enhancing drug for runners, and in more places in the United States and around the world, marijuana use is legal. The United States Anti-Doping Agency should drop their penalty and allow Richardson to compete!” the petition argues. “There are many reasons to have rules against performance-enhancing drugs, but this one is absurd.”
The petition also suggests the rules are biased to intentionally affect Richardson because she’s back, female, and “queer.”
“The imposition of a penalty against a world-class Black, queer, woman athlete is powerfully and infuriatingly reminiscent of the way drug laws are regularly applied in the United States,” it reads. “Recreational marijuana use has been de facto legal for upper-middle-class white people for years—something more states are recognizing as they legalize marijuana for all people and consider how to repair the damage done to Black and brown communities by decades of the ‘war on drugs.'”
“The world is coming together for a Summer Olympics postponed by a global pandemic, and we deserve to see the best athletes in fair, open competition. That includes Sha’Carri Richardson, whose one-month penalty is excessively punitive for an irrational, outdated rule,” the petition closes. “Let Sha’Carri run!”
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, it was announced Friday that Richardson was placed on a one-month suspension for the positive test.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” said United States Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis T. Tygart.
Following the reports, Richardson appeared on NBC’s “TODAY,” where she apologized for her actions.
“Honestly, I just want to apologize for my actions,” the sprinter said. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. Not making any excuse, or looking for any empathy in my case.”
Reacting to possible eligibility for a relay at the Olympics, Richardson said she’d be “grateful, but if not, I’m going to just focus on myself.”
“Right now, I’m just putting all my time and energy into doing what I need to do, which is heal myself. If I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, I’m going to just focus on myself.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.