What was Michael Phelps’ weed suspension? Twitter reacts to Sha’Carri Richardson’s drug test

Chaitra Krishnamurthy

Team USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has allegedly tested positive for a “prohibited substance”, which could disqualify her from the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, the revelation has led people to compare Richardson’s situation with that of Olympian Michael Phelps’ weed ban. 

According to Jamaican Gleaner, which first reported the news, Sha’Carri could face a one-month suspension for allegedly using the “abusive substance”. The news has garnered a lot of reaction on social media as many have come forward to support the athlete. 

Meanwhile, Tyler Dragon, of the Cincinnati Enquirer, shared in his latest tweet: “Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana.”

Was Michael Phelps suspended for using marijuana?

People seem irked to hear about Sha’Carri’s chances of missing the Olympics, comparing the situation with Olympic multi-gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps, who was caught for a similar act. Some people think Sha’Carri is being treated differently. 

After pictures of Phelps smoking weed from a pipe surfaced on the internet, the USA Swimming team temporarily withdrew its financial support and suspended him for three months in February 2009. After the ban was lifted, Phelps went on to compete in the 2009 World Championships. 

Several brands dropped sponsorship for the swimmer, with Kellogg’s being the first to not renew its contract with him. However, the Michigan-based food company signed him back after the Beijing Olympics.

How will it affect the US Sprinter?

Going by the reports, Sha’Carri’s 30-day suspension could stop her from competing in the forthcoming Olympics, which is scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8. She has already withdrawn from Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, where was to run the 200m.  

As news surrounding her suspension started making the rounds, Sha’Carri shared a cryptic tweet saying: “I am human,” which has many empathising with her.

Twitter divided over Sha’Carri Richardson‘s drug test

Soon Twitter users surfaced on the platform to express their opinions on Sha’Carri’s drugs test, with many of them comparing her situation to that of Phelps. While some believe it’s unfair on Sha’Carri, others think Phelps received the right punishment as he admitted to using marijuana. 

One Twitter user wrote: “If you are an Olympian & you get popped for weed, you are an idiot. It’s the drug that stays in your system the longest. It’s not a race thing either. Michael Phelps never failed a drug test bc he smoked weed in odd years (2009) when he wasn’t getting tested.”

Another user expressed: “Michael Phelps had a picture of him ripping a bong go viral, WHILE weed was more stigmatised on a mainstream level, and was still allowed to compete. Not allowing Richardson to compete for the same offence is incredibly stupid. Especially NOW of all times.

Another tweeted: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Michael Phelps smoke a whole bunch of weed and go on to do like two more Olympics??”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics | Trailer – BBC

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