The suspension of Olympic hopeful Sha'Carri Richardson after she tested positive for marijuana has been one of the major stories ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, and President Joe Biden has weighed in. When asked about the up-and-coming track star, Biden said that he was "really proud of the way" she handled her suspension, but that "everybody knows the rules going in."
However, Biden did make a point as to whether the rules themselves were beneficial. "The rules are the rules," Biden said at an event in Michigan on Saturday. "Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules." Many have been speaking out on Richardson's behalf, pointing out that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug.
It was also revealed that Richardson used marijuana while in Oregon, where the drug is legal, after she found out from a reporter that her biological mother had died. After the failed drug test, Richardson accepted the suspension and offered a public apology. "I apologize," Richardson said on TODAY. "As much as I'm disappointed I know that when I step on the track I represent not only myself, I represent a community that has shown great support, great love ... I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time."
Richardson explained that she knew the rules but had used marijuana as a coping mechanism after the devastating news. "We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain," Richardson said. "Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with a pain or you're dealing with a struggle that you've never experienced before or that you never thought you'd have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you're wrong for hurting?"