American Privilege; Marijuana Chokes Chances of Olympic Competitor Sha’Carri Richardson


By Jannah Bolds
EIC, The Bold Opinion

THC is not classified as a performance enhancing substance. Why is she being punished? A portion of the nation in uproar.

In an age that marijuana production and recreational use becomes more normal as each day passes, someone, somehow, seems to experience negative, life-changing scrutiny over consuming the herb. 

This time, Olympic trial participant, Sha’Carri Richardson fell into the spotlight of controversy as she tested positive for THC, after securing her spot in the 100m dash at a blazing 10.86 seconds. A sentimental victory for the twenty one year old. In an interview, Richardson mentioned that she’d lost her mother shortly before competition; a reasonable circumstance for aided relief.

“We all have our different struggles. We all have our different things we del with. But to put on a face, to have to go in front of the world and put on a face to hide my pain, I don’t know… Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with pain or deal with a struggle you’ve never experienced before?”

Sha’Carri Richardson, NBC’s Today Show

Richardson mentioned to have visited the US state of Oregon recently, where reefer is prohibited recreationally; a regional factor, but globally?

That’s the point I’m reaching to communicate here.

Although Richardson violated World Anti-Doping Agency rules and regulations by consuming the banned substance, does society have a moral responsibility to make advocate and push for corrections?

See, our American privilege presents itself at the most obvious times. We, the United States, are adjusting to Mary Jane normalization, and “wait” for everyone else to put-one-in-the-air along with us, as we flex our cultural advancements. Regardless, we must remember that we aren’t the center of the universe and all other civilizations may or may not agree with us.

Is it not a privilege to freely express discernment for this specific rule, on the grand scheme? Again, W.A.D.A is a GLOBAL organization, ironically headquartered in Montreal, who’re developmentally responsible for monitoring the World Anti-Doping Code — the first document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries.

Back to Ms. Richardson, and other professional athletes, like Michael Phelps who’ve been effected by their relationship with Mary. These public figures, unfortunately, found themselves in the crossfire of ganga acceptance.

The Solution?
Review, rewrite, and update the Anti-Doping code for professional athletes because, scientifically, THC is a stimulant, but not used to enhance performance. It’s more likely to glue users to the couch than have them over performing in CrossFit exercises. 

W.A.D.A should be taking this time to collect and consult with current medical professionals to determine marijuana’s effect on athletic performance. I could foresee the development of an intelligent system that tests athletes regularly to calculate normal to abnormal traces of THC based on metabolism and body mass. If W.A.D.A implements this strategy, just remember that you heard it here first. 

In collusion and although Richardson is not allowed to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games individually, her one month ban will end just in time to compete on the USA 4x100m relay team, if selected. 

What does the future hold for professional athletes and the recreational use of marijuana? 

W.A.D.A. Prohibited List of medications and substances can be found here.

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– UPDATE 7/8/2021 –

According to the USATF, Sha’Carri Richardson will NOT be competing in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. The national organization chose to omit the 21-year-old sprinter from the USA 4x100m relay team.

“While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games.”

July 6, 2021

Read the full USATF statement here.


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