Ever since the polarizing news broke that record-breaking sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson received a one-month suspension from the U.S. Olympic team after failing a drug test and that her chances of competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games now hang in the balance, people are continuing to weigh in on the 21-year-old’s Olympic fate.
The news of Richardson’s failed drug test made headlines after becoming public last Thursday, July 1, and continued to make news the following morning. On July 2, founder of Quillette and contributor to The Australian Claire Lehmann tweeted a photo of Richardson with a message that said, “Not sure whether the nails are real or fake, but in case you didn’t know very strong nails & hair can be a side effect of steroid use.”
In the thread, Lehmann followed up the tweet by saying that just because the World Anti-Doping Agency — who implemented Richardson’s suspension — couldn’t “ping” the 21-year-old on steroid use didn’t inherently mean that Richardson wasn’t using performance-enhancing substances.
In addition to bringing up the fact that Richardson’s coach Dennis Mitchell was caught up in a doping scandal back in 1988 and to the shock of many, Lehmann also insinuated that the beloved track and field star Flo-Jo — who was also known for her legendary athletic ability and personal style like Richardson — had also been on drugs.
During a press conference held in Michigan on July 3, President Biden also commented on Richardon’s unfortunate situation.
After highlighting that “everybody knows the rules going in” — ‘regarding athletes’ awareness of the standards they must hold themselves to in order to compete at professional and Olympic levels — Biden went on to say “The rules are the rules. Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules.”
Concerning how Richardson reacted to the news and commentary about her situation up until that point, the President had said, “I was really proud of the way she responded.”
All things considered, on July 4th Richardson tweeted, “The support [from] my community I thank y’all, the negative forget y’all and enjoy the games because we all know it won’t be the same” — before adding in a subsequent post, “I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year.”
That same day, she also tweeted, “All these perfect people that know how to live life, I’m glad I’m not one of them!”