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The Olympic Committee Does Not Want Black Women To Win.
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The Olympic Committee Does Not Want Black Women To Win.


At the 2021 Olympics, there will be no place for Black women.

The US Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday that 21-year-old Sha’Carri Richardson will be suspended for 30 days after testing positive for THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. This disqualifies her from competing in the 100-meter race, in which she defeated her opponents, became the fastest woman in America, and became an instant celebrity.

Richardson apologized on the “Today” show on Friday, revealing that during an interview during the United States Olympic trials in Oregon, a state where recreational marijuana is legal, a reporter informed her that her biological mother had died, and that hearing the news from “a complete stranger was triggering,” which led her to ingest weed in addition to the pressure to perform.

“I still have to go out there and compete for my dream,” she said on “Today.” “From there, I was just blinded by emotions, just blinded by hurting, and I knew I couldn’t hide myself. In some ways, I was just trying to hide my pain.”

Richardson will undergo treatment, and her trial results in the 100-meter race will be disqualified. Her suspension will end on July 28, two days before the start of the Summer Olympics track and field meet, and she may still be able to compete in the 4x100-meter relay if track officials choose.

As if that wasn't enough, Namibians Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi were disqualified from the 400-meter race on Friday after the World Athletics governing body ruled that they had a "naturally high testosterone level," according to the Namibia Olympic Committee.

The committee said in a statement that neither Mboma nor Masilingi, both 18, nor their families or coaches were aware of the rule prior to them taking medical tests for athletes with differences in sexual development. World Athletics implemented the rule at the 2019 Olympic Games in Rio, affecting Caster Semenya of South Africa, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, Margaret Wambui of Kenya, and Aminatou Sey of Senegal.

The announcement of their restrictions comes just two days after Mboma set an under-20 world record and the seventh-fastest time ever recorded by a woman in the 400m race in Poland, clocking 48.54 seconds, her personal best and the fastest time recorded in the world this year. Masilingi's record, set in April, is the third-fastest time recorded in the event this year, clocking 49.53 seconds.

They will be able to compete in the 100m and 200m races despite being barred from competing in the 400m race.

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex.

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex..To begin with, sporting rules are almost never designed with Black women's unique experiences or advancement in mind.

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex..To begin with, sporting rules are almost never designed with Black women's unique experiences or advancement in mind..The rule that judges these women based on their testosterone levels was enacted in response to Semenya's 2009 performance, during which she was misgendered and accused of cheating.

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex..To begin with, sporting rules are almost never designed with Black women's unique experiences or advancement in mind..The rule that judges these women based on their testosterone levels was enacted in response to Semenya's 2009 performance, during which she was misgendered and accused of cheating..The International Association of Athletics Federations, now World Athletics, conducted an extensive investigation that included "sex verification tests."

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex..To begin with, sporting rules are almost never designed with Black women's unique experiences or advancement in mind..The rule that judges these women based on their testosterone levels was enacted in response to Semenya's 2009 performance, during which she was misgendered and accused of cheating..The International Association of Athletics Federations, now World Athletics, conducted an extensive investigation that included "sex verification tests.".” Though she was able to compete and win the 800m gold medal that year, Semenya's battle has now become Mboma and Masilingi's battle because they are barred from competing in the 400m by this rule.

People may dismiss the penalties imposed on Richardson, Mboma, Masilingi, and other Black women at this year's Olympics as a result of not following the rules, but the issue is more complex..To begin with, sporting rules are almost never designed with Black women's unique experiences or advancement in mind..The rule that judges these women based on their testosterone levels was enacted in response to Semenya's 2009 performance, during which she was misgendered and accused of cheating..The International Association of Athletics Federations, now World Athletics, conducted an extensive investigation that included "sex verification tests.".” Though she was able to compete and win the 800m gold medal that year, Semenya's battle has now become Mboma and Masilingi's battle because they are barred from competing in the 400m by this rule..

On Wednesday, for example, FINA, the federation for international competitions in water sports, denied an application for the use of Soul Cap, a swimming cap designed for swimmers with natural Black hair.

Though standard caps neither fit natural Black hair nor keep it from getting wet, the ISF stated that “athletes competing at International events never used, nor are required to use, caps of such size and configuration.”

Alice Dearing, the first Black female swimmer in history to represent Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, has previously collaborated with Soul Cap but will not be able to wear the cap during the Games.

It is unjust that a young Black woman mourning her mother is penalized for using weed, a plant that is the basis of a multimillion-dollar industry and is legal for recreational use in 18 states and medicinal use in 36 states. It is also dehumanizing that two teenagers with naturally high testosterone levels can be barred from competing in certain events.

Shortly after receiving backlash for her marijuana use, Richardson tweeted, "I am human," a fact that is frequently overlooked when it comes to the treatment of Black women in sports, even outside of the Olympics, as Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have demonstrated.

When it comes to Black women in sports, grace appears to be non-existent, despite the fact that they are expected to, and frequently do, handle adversity with grace.

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