AOC slams Olympics for suspending Sha'Carri Robinson over marijuana and calls ban 'racist and colonial'

ALEXANDRIA Ocasio-Cortez has slammed the Olympics after it suspended Sha’Carri Robinson over using marijuana, calling the ban “racist and colonial”.

The New York Democrat, 31, claimed Friday the rule prohibiting marijuana use during the Olympics was an “instrument of racist and colonial policy”.

Her comments come after the announcement that champion Sha'Carri Richardson would not be competing in the 100m race after she tested positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, at the Olympic trials, voiding her first-place results.

Richardson, a black woman from Texas, was handed a one-month suspension, which means she would not be able to compete in the race in Tokyo, but she could still take part in the women’s relay race because the trial will not take place until after July27.

The initial three-month suspension was reduced to one because she agreed to take part in a counseling program.

"The criminalization and banning of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial policy," Ocasio-Cortez said Friday. "The IOC [International Olympic Committee] should reconsider its suspension of Ms. Richardson and any athletes penalized for cannabis use."

Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps received a three-month suspension from competition in 2009 and lost his Kellogg sponsorship after a photo emerged showing him smoking a marijuana pipe.

Phelps, a white man from Maryland, never tested positive for marijuana but acknowledged the photo was genuine.

The photo was said to have been taken six months after the 2008 Olympics and his suspension ended in time so he was able to compete in the 2009 World Championships.

Richardson said in a tweet “I am human” and said in an interview on the Today show Friday she was “triggered” by the death of her mum.

"I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt," she said. "I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain."

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