IOC responds to Sha’Carri Richardson’s claims of racial bias in doping case

"I would suggest that there isn't a great deal of similarity between the two cases," said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams.

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejects Sha’Carri Richardson’s claims of a racial double standard related to drug testing after Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was allowed to compete at the Beijing Olympics following a positive drug test. 

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams issued a statement amid the controversy during a press briefing Wednesday and made it clear that Richardson’s case should not be compared to that of the teenage Russian competitor. 

The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion - Arrivals
Sha’Carri Richardson attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sept. 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

The IOC booted Richardson from the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer after she tested positive for THC in July, theGrio reported. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the decision to disqualify the athlete, who was “favored to place top 3,” Richardson wrote on Twitter. 

In a Feb.14 post, the 21-year-old U.S. track and field star questioned the decision by the Court of Arbitration to allow Valieva to continue competing at the Winter Olympics despite a failed drug test.

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines?” she wrote, in part, on Twitter. “The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady,” she added, and many users agreed with her.

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“Every single case is very different. [Richardson] tested positive on June 19 (2021), quite a way ahead of the Tokyo Games,” Adams said. “Her results came in early in order for USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) to deal with the case on time, before the Games. Ms. Richardson accepted a one-month period of ineligibility which began on June 28.”

“I would suggest that there isn’t a great deal of similarity between the two cases,” he added.

“She is in the center of a lot of speculation,” Adams said of Valieva. “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.”

Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 13
Kamila Valieva of Team ROC reacts to their score with choreographer Daniil Gleikhengauz (R) and coach Eteri Tutberidze (L) on Feb. 17, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Valieva reportedly tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which is used to treat people with angina. As reported by Yahoo Sports, the drug is said to increase stamina in athletes.

Valieva’s attorney claims the “banned drug entered her body accidentally,” per People, and that the trimetazidine belongs to her grandfather, as he takes the drug, according to Russian website The Dossier Center, USA Today reported.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled Monday that keeping the 15-year-old out of the Olympic Games in Beijing would “cause her irreparable harm.”

Valieva broke down in tears Thursday after finishing fourth in the women’s figure skating competition, PEOPLE reports.

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