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New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed on Friday that the ruling banning marijuana use during the Olympic races was an “instrument of racist and colonial politics.”
Congressmen’s comments followed the announcement that U.S. Champion Sha’Carri Richardson won’t compete in the 100-meter run after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, in the Olympic trials – which her results show invalidated for first place.
SHA’CARRI RICHARDSON SUSPENSION LEADS CRAZY: ‘WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?’
Richardson, a black Texas woman, has been banned for a month preventing her from driving the 100 in Tokyo but means she could still be in the running for the women’s relay since the trial doesn’t take place until July 27th.
The 21-year-old runner’s suspension was reduced from three to one month because she agreed to take part in a counseling program.
“The criminalization and the prohibition of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial politics,” said Ocasio-Cortez on Friday. “The IOC [International Olympic Committee] should reconsider the suspension of Ms. Richardson and all athletes punished for cannabis use. “
Richardson isn’t the first athlete to face the consequences of marijuana use.
US SPRINTER SHA’CARRI RICHARDSON MISSES 100 METER OLYMPIC RACE OVER MARIJUANA TEST
Gold medalist, 23, Michael Phelps was banned from competition for three months and lost his Kellogg sponsorship after a photo surfaced showing him smoking a marijuana pipe in 2009.
Phelps, a white male from Maryland, never tested positive for marijuana but did confirm the authenticity of the photo.
The photo was reportedly taken six months after the 2008 Olympics and his suspension ended in time for him to compete in the 2009 World Championships.
In a tweet, Richardson said, “I am human,” and stated in a Friday interview on the Today show that she was “triggered” by her mother’s death.
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“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotion, blinded by wickedness and hurting and hiding hurt,” she said. “I know I can’t hide, so I was kind of trying to hide my pain.”
The Ocasio-Cortez office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ questions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.