News and Commentary

Vape Company Offers Sha’Carri Richardson $250,000 For Spokesperson Gig
2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 2 EUGENE, OREGON - JUNE 19: Sha'Carri Richardson reacts after competing in the Women's 100 Meter Semi-finals on day 2 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) Cliff Hawkins / Staff via Getty Images
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Athlete Sha’Carri Richardson was recently offered a position as spokesperson for a vaping company after she made headlines for being suspended from the Olympics after she tested positive for THC. 

As Fox News reported, “The 100-meter sprinter was suspended by USADA (The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) after testing positive for marijuana use, disqualifying her from the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. The athlete confessed to using cannabis as a coping mechanism after the death of her mother.”

“Dr. Dabber,” a vaping company, offered Richardson $250,000 to be a spokesperson for the company. 

On its website, the company described its goal. “We want to create portable vaporizers that are convenient and reliable, yet potent and effective. Vaporizers that are stylish enough to use anywhere but stealthy enough to keep a low profile. Something that isn’t just a novelty, but a justifiable replacement for all other methods. We want to change the way people enjoy their concentrates,” it said.

The offer was addressed to Richardson and obtained by TMZ. It noted that the company was “saddened to learn of your recent suspension from the US Track and Field team, due to THC and missing the opportunity to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

“At Dr. Dabber,” the company added, “we believe that THC can actually have many positive effects on an athlete’s recovery and overall mental wellbeing.”

The company went on, “Considering your talent and grace over these past weeks, we would love to offer you the opportunity to work with our team as a spokesperson for Dr. Dabber. This entails testing our award-winning dab rigs and vape pens as a resident ‘doctor.'”

Various politicians and members of the public have voiced concern and disapproval over Richardson’s suspension. As The Daily Wire reported, “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 [last week.”

“The petition says Richardson’s suspension is predicated on an ‘outdated and arbitrarily enforced rule around marijuana,'” per The Daily Wire.

As The Daily Wire reported this week, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) sent a letter to the heads of the USADA and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to express their “dismay” over the one-month suspension of Richardson for the use of marijuana and of other suspensions that have occurred this year because of marijuana use. 

They said that the “suspension is the result of USADA’s antiquated prohibition on the use of cannabis products by U.S. athletes,” adding that the marijuana ban “is a significant and unnecessary burden on athletes’ civil liberties.” 

Most notably, perhaps, they claimed that the prohibition of marijuana alongside the different treatment of alcohol use and other drugs “reflects anti-drug laws and policies that have historically targeted Black and Brown communities while largely condoning drug use in white communities.” 

They added, “Anti-marijuana laws have a particularly ugly history of systemic racism,” without acknowledging that all inclinations show that the rules apply to relevant athletes and have no apparent basis in discrimination. 

Witold Banka, a former international-level athlete, and president of WADA wrote back to the representatives, saying that “the U.S. has been one of the most vocal and strong advocates for including cannabinoids on the Prohibited List. The meeting minutes and written submissions received from the U.S. over nearly two decades, in particular from USADA, have consistently advocated for cannabinoids to be included on the Prohibited List.”

Banka added, “Thus, the argument that some have advanced indicating that U.S. anti-doping stakeholders are bound by antiquated thinking regarding the Prohibited List is not supported by the facts.”

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