Sha’Carri Richardson criticises decision to allow Kamila Valieva to compete after positive test

The American sprinter claimed the colour of her skin could be the reason for differences in the way her and Valieva’s cases have been handled

Dan Austin
Monday 14 February 2022 15:58 GMT
Sha’Carri Richardson competes at the Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting in 2021
Sha’Carri Richardson competes at the Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting in 2021 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has criticised the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to allow Kamila Valieva to continue competing at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The 15-year-old figure skater helped her Russian Olympic Committee team win gold in the team event last week, but a sample analysed by the World Anti-Doping Agency found that she had tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine at the Russian Figure Skating Championships on Christmas Day.

The reveal of the positive result led to fury from sports fans and rival athletes, and the Cas used a temporary base in China in order to deal with the incident. It has now concluded, controversially, that Valieva can continue to participate in the Games in Beijing.

Richardson was given a one-month ban from athletics last summer after she tested positive for marijuana, which resulted in her missing the delayed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?” the 21-year-old tweeted on Monday afternoon. “My mother died and I can’t run and was also favoured to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady.”

The CAS panel explained that it took into account multiple factors when considering how to deal with Valieva’s positive result, including the fact that her age means she is still a child and classes as a vulnerable athlete.

The teenager could still be stripped of medals won in Beijing in a full doping hearing following the conclusion of the Games.

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