I hate most sports now and haven’t watched any in years, especially not the profit-driven nonsense of the olympics. But when these items appeared today….
In a blatant display of hypocrisy and possibly racism, US track runner Sha’Carri Richardson has been banned from participating in the 2021 Tokyo olympics because she tested positive for marijuana.
In 1998, Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati tested positive for marijuana after winning his event, and was thus disqualified. The penalty was overturned because (at that time) marijuana was not listed as a banned substance, and he did not smoke it while in Nagano, Japan.
Part of Rebagliati’s argument was that marijuana was not a performance enhancing substance. Quite the contrary, it is a depressant, and in a sport requiring quick responses to situations, marijuana puts the competitor at a disadvantage while using it. And when not using it (i.e. Rebagliati smoked prior to the olympics, not at the games) any detectable amount in an athlete’s system has no effect.
After 1998, the IOC and WADA declared marijuana a “banned substance” despite the fact it doesn’t help athletes win, and it is legal to possess and consume in many countries. This was not about “cheating”, this was governments and the IOC dictating morality, extending their “authority” into other nations.
Considering the USOC’s long history of covering up failed drug tests and giving preferential treatment to elite athletes (i.e. actually cheating that helped them win), I’m surprised they backed down so quickly and threw Richardson to the wolves.
The U.S. Olympic Committee “has something to answer for” says Richard Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, after documents were released showing more than 100 U.S. athletes were sent into Olympic and world competitions after failing drug tests.
Among the athletes who were let off the hook with warnings rather than suspensions were Carl Lewis, track and field’s most decorated Olympian, and tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, according to the documents dated from 1988 to 2000.
“It’s what many people suspected about the U.S. Olympic Committee, that it was being covered up,” Pound said.
[. . .]
Lewis and teammate Andre Phillips also received similar notifications. After they tested positive at the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, they were told they’d get off with warnings.
All three won gold medals on the track at the Seoul Olympics, which they would have missed had they been suspended. Lewis was handed the 100-metre gold medal that was stripped from Canada’s Ben Johnson.
Racism in Richardson’s case may be arguable. But in the case of “soul caps” made for swimmers, it definitely is.
Soul caps are a swim cap designed specifically for Black people with sizeable amounts of natural hair. (I was unsure of what word is polite enough to describe people’s hair.) FINA, the world swimming body, has banned soul caps because they “don’t follow the natural form of the head”.
These caps are designed to contain Black people’s natural and voluminous hair, which no other cap will. This means Black swimmers with natural hair will either be banned from competing, forced to cut their hair, or have wet hair weigh them down as they swim.
Translation: white people are policing Black people’s bodies again, declaring white as “normal” and everyone else must fit white body types.
Soul Cap say the international governing body for swimming rejected an application for their caps to be certified for use at competitions.
They say Fina told them the caps are unsuitable because they don’t follow “the natural form of the head”.
Soul Cap makes swimming caps to fit over and protect dreadlocks, afros, weaves, hair extensions, braids, and thick and curly hair.
“Using the smaller swimming caps that everyone else would use – it would fit on my head but because I put [protective] oil in my hair, when I was swimming it would just keep sliding off and my hair would get wet,” said Kejai [Terrelonge], who lives in Birmingham.