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Sha'Carri Richardson And Michael phelps suspension

Sha’Carri Richardson Olympic Suspension vs Michael Phelps Suspension in ’09

When hearing first of Sha’carri Richardson’s suspension from the Olympics the first thing that came to mind was a flashback to Michael Phelps’ suspension from the Olympics for his use of drugs and being allowed to still compete.

Sha' Carri Richardson Suspension vs Michael Phelps

Like most of us in the culture, we were all rooting for sha’carri Richardson in the Olympics this year in tokyo. The Olympics this year is showcasing so many black athletes and the culture is supporting them 1000%. However in recent news of Richardson’s Olympic suspension because of testing positive for marijuana we as a community and culture are now wondering what that looks like for the beloved athlete that we have been following since she started breaking records for LSU.

When hearing first of Sha’carri Richardson’s suspension from the Olympics the first thing that came to mind was a flashback to Michael Phelps’ suspension from the Olympics for his use of drugs and being allowed to still compete. We can speak about marijuana usage and the legalization when it comes to Olympic Games in a moment. However the biggest concern is the similarities and differences between the two cases. Of course you know we are also here to make sure everything is above board. #periodt

Let’s talk:

  • Punishment Severity
  • Timing
  • Location 
  • Lasting Effects

Punishment Severity

As the media has already announced Sha’ Carri Richardson will be suspended for 30 days, which will unfortunately overlaps the 100meters race on July 31st. However she might still be able to compete in the 4×100 relay on August 6th. Interestingly enough Michael Phelps was actually suspended for 90 days and he lost funding from USA swimming organization plus his sponsorship with the Kellogg brand.

 When we are talking about severity of the punishment, Richardson is lucky her career is young and still bright. Because a lot more could have been lost, besides time.


Speaking of timing, Phelps run in with Madam Mary Jane was about 6 months after the ‘08 Olympics but 5 months before the world championship according to Sporting News.

Which means Phelps had plenty of time to wait the suspension out and compete in all his events. Where as, in Richardson’s situation, she is down to the wire with the Tokyo Olympics being less than 30days away. Timing could not be worse.

Sha'Carri Richardson and Michael Phelps suspension

Here is what’s interesting about the two cases.


Phelps ganja adventures happened in a state where it is illegal to have that particular herb in your garden. However in the grand state of Oregon, it is perfectly legal for Richardson to have a girls night with the green goddess. Technically speaking she broke zero laws, but quite a few Olympic rules. 

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, marijuana is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, a foundation created by the International Olympic Committee, in-competition “unless an athlete has an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption.” 

USADA states that an athlete can have cannabis in their system at the time of testing but that the amount cannot exceed 150 nanograms per millileter (ng/mL). 

WADA lists hashish and marijuana as prohibited forms of cannabinoids while noting that cannabidiol is an exception.

Athletes can be suspended for up to two years under the WADA code for testing positive for marijuana. According to a November 2020 USADA advisory to athletes, the minimum suspension is 30 days if an athlete “can establish that the use of a substance of abuse was out-of-competition and unrelated to sport performance” and “if the athlete successfully completes a substance abuse program that is approved by USADA.”

Lasting Effects

Understanding the system, while also hearing Richardson’s story on Good Morning America, Richardson dealing with her mother’s passing came at a shock, especially finding out through the media that she had passed, has taken a toll. We all know how we felt when the announcement of Kobe Bryant’s death was announced without compassion for the family. We all can agree when it comes to our mothers, that pain and absence hits differently. 

Although it might seem as though, Richardson is out of the woods, or will be soon. According to NY Times, Richardson’s qualifying time of 10.86 might be wiped. 

What are your thoughts:

 Should legalization of marijuanna be considered in the Olympics?

Have you lost support in Sha’Carri Richardson?

Did the punishment fit the crime?

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Ultimate Staff
Author: Ultimate Staff

Ultimate Staff

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