President Biden gave his opinion on Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympic suspension for a positive marijuana test.
“The rules are the rules, and everybody knew what the rules were going in,” he told reporters in Central Lake, Mich. “Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue.”
“I was really proud of the way she responded.”
Richardson tested positive for marijuana after winning the women’s 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her speed qualified her for the Olympics, but the positive test means her win won’t count and she won’t get to race in Tokyo.
“I just want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson said Friday on the “Today” show. “I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed not to do and I still made that decision. I’m not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case.”
While at the trials in mid-June, Richardson learned from a reporter that her biological mother had died. She said part of the reason she used marijuana was to cope with that shocking news.
“To hear that information coming from a complete stranger, it was definitely triggering,” Richardson said. “It was definitely nerve-shocking… that sent me into a state of mind, a state of emotional panic. I still have to go out and put out a performance for my dream, go out there and still compete … From there, just blinded by emotions, blinded by hiding hurt. … I knew I couldn’t hide myself. In some type of way, I was just trying to hide my pain.”
Marijuana has been legal in Oregon, where the trials were held, since 2015. It remains on the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
It really is an unfortunate situation. The rules need to change.