Sha’Carri Richardson Calls Out Glaring Hypocrisy With Kamila Valieva

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Track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson, who is Black, is calling out the double standards in the athletic arena after a recent Olympic doping scandal played out very differently for a white athlete than it did for her. 

On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva could compete in the short program of the women's single skating competition after news broke that she had failed a drug test prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The 15-year-old, who had tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine in December, was given a provisional suspension shortly after this news sent shockwaves through the sports world. Now, CAS is saying that Valieva “should be allowed to compete due to ‘exceptional circumstances,’ including specific provisions linked to her status as a ‘protected person’ — because she is a minor — under the World Anti-Doping Code,” reports CNN.

Additionally, the network reported that CAS emphasized how Valieva had not tested positive during the Games. 

This reversal is in stark contrast to how Richardson was treated after she won the women's 100m race at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials last summer. The 21-year-old’s spot on Team USA was revoked after she tested positive for THC (marijuana) in a move that was widely contested on social media and beyond. Acknowledging the hypocrisy of situations, Richardson tweeted this week about Valieva, asking: "Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines [sic]? 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."

She continued in a second tweet, "It's all in the skin," pointing out how she was treated as a Black athlete in comparison to a white athlete.

Valieva is slated to partake in the women single skating competition on Tuesday. Should she win, the International Olympic Committee says they will not honor until they’ve completed a full investigation into the doping allegations.

"Should Ms Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the Women's Single Skating competition, no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022," said the IOC’s statement.

Tags: Black Women, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, female athletes, olympics

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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