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15th Feb 2022

Sha’Carri Richardson slams decision to allow Kamila Valieva to compete despite positive doping test

Daniel Brown

‘Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?’

American track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has criticised the International Olympic Committee for ‘double standards’ after it allowed Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to compete despite an ongoing investigation into her failed doping test.

Valieva was suspended after it emerged that she had tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine on December 25 last year and had been provisionally suspended on February 8.

However, following a successful appeal, she was told that she would be allowed to continue to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that “exceptional circumstances” meant the 15-year-old should not be suspended.

The decision to allow her to compete has been heavily scrutinised, and Richardson has since claimed that ‘not one black athlete’ has been able to compete while under investigation for doping and that the only difference between ‘her situation and mine’ is the colour of their skin.

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?” the 21-year-old wrote on Twitter.

“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.

“It’s all in the skin,” she continued. “[By the way] THC is definitely not a performance enhancer!!!!”

The track star added: “[She] failed in December and the world just now knows, however, my results were posted within a week and my name [and] talent was slaughtered to the people.”

The American was disqualified from the 2020 Tokyo Games after testing positive for marijuana after her test from the Olympic Trials came back.

She claimed that she smoked marijuana after discovering that her biological mother had died.

On the other hand, Valieva didn’t see her results reported by anti-doping authorities until last Tuesday (February 8) – which came after the talented youngster won gold for Russia in the team discipline event the day before.

Trimetazidine – which is a heart medication drug that can increase blood flow efficiency and improve endurance – is banned both in and out-of-competition by WADA.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport panel ruled on Monday that the Russian would be allowed to compete because she is a ‘protected person’ under the age of 16.

Instead, any future investigation will be focused on her coaches, doctors and nutritionists, with athletes under 16 typically not held responsible for taking banned substances.

Officials stated that 15-year-old Valieva could face ‘irreparable harm’ from the ban.

While the Olympic Committee announced that the Russian figure skater would be allowed to participate in the women’s individual figure skating competition, there will be no medal ceremony if she is among the prize winners.

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