Spirit of Sport Made Sha’Carri Richardson a Living Martyr | Cultiva Law, PLLC
Watching Sha’Carri’s hypocracy and his punishment unfold has been a challenge. From the outset, President Biden’s response is your deaf as always on the subject. Adding at the end that he is proud of his response, which was his acceptance of responsibility and apology. Biden, a long-standing “law and order” type, saying, “The rules are the rules and everyone knows what the rules were in.” It goes without saying that this industry would not exist without people being prepared to break the rules. So, yes, “the rules are the rules”. Without people being ready to Break the rules, nothing significant will ever change.
We’re not trying to downplay anything or suggest sweeping anything under the rug. But, if we are going to talk about sweeping, let’s talk about the most famous sweepers, the curlers. Curlers are able to drink alcohol freely before and after their competitions, including the Olympic Games. In “the spirit of curling, there is a tradition for losers to buy a drink from the winners. This tradition was followed both before and after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed alcohol from its prohibited list in 2018.
Obviously, cannabis is still on WADA’s ban list, otherwise Sha’Carri wouldn’t have been suspended for a month. But, in order for an item to be added to WADA’s Prohibited List, it must meet two of the three inclusion criteria: a) it presents a risk to the health of athletes b) it has the potential to improve performance and c) it violates the spirit of sport.
In 2011, WADA published an article in Sports Medicine to discuss why cannabis meets the criteria. Below are excerpts from this publication that meet all three criteria:
- “Athletes who smoke cannabis or spices in competition potentially put themselves and others at risk due to increased risk-taking, slower reaction times, and poor executive function or decision-making. . “
- “Based on current animal and human studies as well as interviews with athletes and information from the field, cannabis may improve the performance of certain athletes and sports disciplines.”
- “The use of illicit drugs that are harmful to health and may have performance enhancing properties is not consistent with the athlete as a role model for young people around the world.”
There is a lot of research on the effects of cannabis on the human body. When it comes to cannabis and the health risks, we are still not entirely sure about the effects of cannabis on the body. We know it’s safer than alcohol. At least a president had the strength of character to say it. Additionally, there is an abundance of evidence in international research on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Whether cannabis causes “increased risk-taking” is highly subjective and would be on a case-by-case basis. Former NBA player Matt Barnes has admitted to using cannabis before basketball games, which, at least anecdotally, calls into question the idea that the plant slows reaction times. And if cannabis can be considered a performance enhancing drug, so should caffeine. One of the most popular drugs in the world, used to help us move faster and think more clearly, no matter what pitches and courts we are practicing. WADA reversed its draconian caffeine vision and allowed athletes to enjoy one cup of coffee a day. At the end of the day, WADA speaks out of both sides of its mouth, saying that cannabis can hinder your performance in criterion one, and then saying that cannabis is a performance enhancer in criterion two.
Finally, “the athlete as a role model” and “the spirit of the sport” is the most superficial reason Sha’Carri was suspended. We hold our models to high expectations and unrealistic standards. Instead of trying to humanize the person, to show how accessible and achievable that role is for a person, we want to make them larger than life. We prefer to mystify the character as a Greek goddess and then publicly display a character flaw to make him a tragic hero. As a goddess you cannot fly too high, otherwise they will try to melt your wings and bring you back to earth.
But that’s what we liked about Sha’Carri because she was so down to earth. She reminded you of children running the streets barefoot. She reminded you of the neighborhood girl. And the fact that she smokes a little weed every now and then to calm her mind, reminds you of what you know and have already experienced: Cannabis is not a hindrance or an activator of your success, just something. that you should consume in moderation. Just ask the curlers and their beer consumption. Maybe no one cares what they do because society doesn’t see them as “role models.”
It is time for other models to rise up and act for our country. Our queen of the American track faces penalties and consequences for use a drug for medical purposes, not to improve its performance. We shouldn’t just sit back and let the world try to destroy someone’s American dream. While others are living their American dream by earning millions of dollars legally selling the same plant Sha’Carrie smoked. End the ban and contradiction on cannabis. And if you are one of those members of the industry, tell WADA to grow.