Drug testing needs to be equal for all

Carley Nail

For all Olympic events, every competitor is required to pass a drug test. But the Olympics changed their rules on drug tests for one person during the Winter Olympics. This should have never been allowed. 

Sha’Carri Richardson is an American track and field sprinter. Richardson was set to compete in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, but was disqualified soon after making the cut. 

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Richardson’s drug test results were obtained on June 19 and she tested positive for THC, which is found in marijuana. 

Richardson was then put on a one month suspension. This suspension lasted through the summer Olympics, so she was not allowed to compete. 

The same situation just occurred at the winter Olympics, but with a different outcome. 

Kamila Valieva is a 15-year-old Russian figure skater. While Valieva was at the Winter Olympics this year in Beijing, her drug test results came back positive. 

Even though she had drugs in her system, she was still allowed to compete. 

Valieva should not have been allowed to compete. The IOC should not punish one athlete for failing a drug test but let another athlete continue. 

In a press briefing released by IOC Media, the International Olympic Committee spokesperson, Mark Adams, said that the two situations are not comparable because they received Richardson’s test results before she was at the Olympic event. 

The drug tests should be given to the athletes at the same time. Their results should be received by the committee at the same time— before they’re at the event ready to compete. 

Valieva should have received the same treatment as Richardson and been given a one month suspension.