Black Women in Sport Face a Double Standard

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Are international sporting committees evaluating and challenging policies which may perpetuate racist and sexist barriers?

  • The week, US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has called out Olympic and anti-doping officials after Russian skater, Kamila Valieva, was still allowed to compete after testing positive for a banned drug.
  • Richardson took to twitter to ask for a “solid answer on the difference” between her case and that of Valieva, concluding that “The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady”.
  • Richardson was set to compete in the 100m sprint at Tokyo Olympics, however after testing positive for THC - the intoxicant in marijuana - she was denied the chance to partake.
  • It must be noted that the decisions surrounding the cases of both Richardson and Valieva, were handled by different governing bodies. Richardson’s case was dealt with by the USADA, prior to the games.
  • The International Olympic Committee has dismissed double standard claims stating “Every case is different.” Nonetheless, many have argued that it is difficult to not draw comparison.
  • Repeatedly, we see Black female athletes undergo intense scrutiny from both officials and the public be it Richardson, US gymnast Simone Biles or tennis star Serena Williams.
The Guardian
The Washington Post
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4 articles on this topic


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