After the Summer Olympics opening ceremony, fans noticed an article that raised a big red flag. The story in question, published in Forbes on July 21, talks about U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team player Megan Rapinoe and her use of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products for training, along with other athletes touting CBD use in their training. The problem is, Sha’Carri Richardson was recently suspended from the Olympics because her drug test was positive for THC, a substance the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) doesn’t tolerate. Fans are all pretty pissed off about the hypocritical moves, and these tweets comparing Sha’Carri Richardson and Megan Rapinoe’s cannabis use will have you feeling the anger.
The Forbes article that puts Rapinoe in the spotlight for CBD use was published on just 19 days after the USADA announced Richardson accepted a one-month suspension for her use of marijuana after testing positive for THC, the main psychoactive chemical in the plant that’s responsible for the high. Fans were very upset about Richardson’s suspension — which also prevents her from accepting any medals if she rejoins the games. Shortly after the announcement, a petition to “Let Sha’Carri Run” hit the internet, and a ton of fans were on board. Now, amid her suspension, the article about Rapinoe and cannabis in the Olympics takes a much different attitude toward CBD products — one that feels awfully hypocritical. The report reveals that Rapinoe uses CBD products from Mendi, a company her sister Rachael Rapinoe founded with Brett Schwager, and also lists other athlete ambassadors, such as four-time Olympic gold medalist WNBA champion Sue Bird (Rapinoe’s fiancé), hurdler Devon Allen, and softball outfielder Hayley McCleney. Elite Daily reached out to the International Olympic Committee for comment on the backlash, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
It’s important to note that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took CBD off its list of prohibited substances in September 2017, a change that officially went into effect in January 2018. But although WADA has approved CBD (which doesn’t contain enough THC to be considered psychoactive), THC remains on the list of banned substances. Elite Daily reached out to the International Olympic Committee for clarity on the disparate rules regarding CBD and THC, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
As people see the jarring differences between Rapinoe’s use of weed products and Richardson’s suspension for using marijuana once (an action that was spurned on when she learned of her biological mother’s death), fans are not happy about the differences.
A lot of fans are pointing out that the treatment of Richardson, compared to other white athletes like Rapinoe, is racist:
Some fans also posted memes to express their confusion and anger:
Meanwhile, others are pointing out Richardson’s accomplishments as she rises above the suspension:
Although Richardson has been under suspension from the Olympic Games since June 28, fans are clearly here to support her, and maybe the outcry will actually lead to the Olympics changing up some of its outdated policies.