Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the highest paid player in the NFL, slammed the decision to pull runner Sha’Carri Richardson from the U.S. Olympic team after she failed a drug test.
Mahomes sounded off on Richardson’s situation on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, saying that while Richardson made a mistake, the decision to take away her shot at competing at the Olympics is “pretty ridiculous.”
“For her to be left off after all the hard work and dedication that she has put into the sport, and her to be one of those bright, young stars for the USA, it’s just disappointing that she got left off after she put in the work,” Mahomes said. “Even though she made a mistake, like, we all make mistakes … To not let her be at the Olympics at all is pretty ridiculous to me.”
Patrick Mahomes speaks on Sha’Carri Richardson being left off the Olympic relay team.
“She put in the work. Even though she made a mistake, like we all make mistakes … to not let her be at the Olympics at all is pretty ridiculous to me.” pic.twitter.com/MUqxqzl3ye
— First Take (@FirstTake) July 8, 2021
The International Olympic Committee suspended Richardson for one month last week after she tested positive for THC, a substance found in marijuana. The short-term suspension knocked Richardson out of her spot on the U.S. Olympic team. as The Daily Wire reported:
According to the Associated Press, her results from the Olympic trials have been erased, making her ineligible for the 100-meter race in Tokyo.
On Friday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Richardson tested positive in a sample collected at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 19, 2021. Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension that began on June 28, 2021.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.
Richardson’s suspension has sparked consternation among sports fans and athletes alike. More than half a million people have signed a petition against Richardson’s suspension, calling the IOC’s rules against marijuana use “outdated and arbitrarily enforced.”
“In no world is marijuana a performance-enhancing drug for runners, and in more places in the United States and around the world, marijuana use is legal. The United States Anti-Doping Agency should drop their penalty and allow Richardson to compete!” the petition says. “There are many reasons to have rules against performance-enhancing drugs, but this one is absurd.”
For her part, Richardson has accepted the ruling of the IOC and intends to focus on “moving forward.”
“Honestly, that news didn’t bother me because me and my team were realistic, so we kind of figured that they would say that in the first place,” she said, according to Fox News. “I understand the situation that’s going on. So, I’m accepting of it, and I just know what I have to do moving forward in my career.”
The morning after her suspension was announced, Richardson apologized for her actions.
“Honestly, I just want to apologize for my actions,” Richardson said. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. Not making any excuse, or looking for any empathy in my case.”
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