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March 31, 2023
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is urging the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to end Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension.
In a letter to the agency, AOC and Rep. Jamie Raskin wrote, “We urge you to reconsider the policies that led to this and other suspensions for recreational marijuana use, and to reconsider Ms. Richardson’s suspension. Please strike a blow for civil liberties and civil rights by reversing this course you are on.” Last week, Richardson was disqualified from the Tokyo Games when she failed a drug test. The USADA’s international rulings led her to a one-month suspension, disregarding her recent first-place qualification in the Olympic trials.
The letter continued, “The ban on marijuana is a significant and unnecessary burden on athletes’ civil liberties. [World Anti-Doping Agency] ]WADA categorizes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active chemical in marijuana, as a prohibited competition substance.5 However, according to WADA’s own medical director, Alan Vernec, “[t]here is no evidence for cannabis use as a performance-enhancing drug.”
In an interview, Richardson apologized to her sponsors and fans, noting, “I want to take responsibility for my actions. I’m not looking for an excuse.”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS