Chris Paul Issues Response To Sha’Carri Richardson Situation

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Chris Paul is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, as a member of the 2008 and 2012 editions of Team USA, which won the Beijing and London games, respectively. As he prepares for his first NBA Finals, he shared his thoughts on the controversy around U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson‘s suspension.

The track star tested positive for marijuana after the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon. She faces a one-month suspension, and could miss this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, after recording the sixth-fastest 100-meter dash time for a woman in track history this past April.

Richardson acknowledged that she broke the rules after testing positive for marijuana. However, as many others have pointed out, the drug, which is legal in almost half of the U.S. now, is the farthest thing from a “performance enhancer,” and shouldn’t cost her a spot in the Olympics.

Numerous star athletes have lent their support to Richardson following the news, including NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes and Team USA Basketball star Damian Lillard. Now Paul, one of the more influential athletes in the country, has done the same.

The stigma around marijuana has faded in a major way in this country, especially when it comes to treatment for pain and mental health issues. Many athletes have turned to it as an alternative to opioids and other more addictive and potentially dangerous treatments, and leagues like the NBA have turned the other way on enforcement.

Various athletes, and even some lawmakers, are hoping that the U.S. Olympic team overturns the decision, and lets Sha’Carri Richardson race.

As of now, her 30-day suspension would prevent her from racing in the Olympic 100-meter event. She may be able to participate in the Women’s 4×100-meter relay on August 5, but her status for the entirety of the Olympics remains up in the air.

[Kellan Olson]

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