The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has responded to Sha’Carri Richardson’s claims that there is a double standard at the 2022 Olympics when it pertains to drug testing.
Earlier this week, Kamila Valieva — a 15-year-old Russian figure skater — was cleared to continue competing in the Winter Games following an appeal on the star’s interim ban after she failed a pre-Olympics drug test.
Richardson – who was banned from competition at the Tokyo Olympics after she tested positive for marijuana – took to social media to call out the Valieva case and demand “a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine.” She also claimed race played a factor in her suspension.
On Wednesday, Mark Adams, an IOC spokesman, addressed comparisons between the cases, per Yahoo Sports, and said, “You can’t talk about double standards in relation to Russian and American athletes, each case is individual.”
“Richardson’s positive doping test was discovered on 19 June, and the result was received before the start of the Olympics. She was suspended for a month. There is nothing in common between these two cases,” Adams said.
“This Games, which has not concluded, concerns an issue in December. She is in the centre of a lot of speculation. It must be very tough for her.
“We of course are in touch with the team, her welfare is the team’s first priority, and obviously we are very careful of that but there’s only so much that we can do.”
The decision to ban Richardson from the Tokyo Summer Games became a controversial topic online, and drew support for the sprinter from celebrities and fellow athletes. She was favorited to win gold in the women’s 100m in Tokyo before being banned.
In the Valieva case, the teen skater tested positive for a banned heart medication, trimetazidine, in December — but the results weren’t flagged until this month, just after she won gold in the ROC’s team competition.
The IOC has said different rules apply to minors, making Valieva a “protected person.”
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