The complete sidelining of U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson from the Tokyo Olympics stinks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki agreed on Wednesday.
“It does stink … and I don’t think there’s a better definition of it,” Psaki told CNN “New Day” anchor John Berman.
Richardson received a 30-day suspension last week after testing positive for marijuana at the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon last month. She said she used the drug before the trials after learning about the death of her biological mother.
The punishment meant she couldn’t run the 100-meter sprint in Tokyo but still had a shot at being named in the 4-x-100 meter relay event.
Richardson’s dream of an Olympic debut was nixed Tuesday, though, when USA Track and Field released its relay roster, and her name was not on it.
Watch the interview here:
Berman recalled how President Joe Biden said Saturday that the “rules are the rules” when asked to comment on Richardson’s suspension. But the star athlete’s omission from the relay roster was “beyond the rules,” Berman noted.
Psaki agreed, hailing Richardson as “inspiring” and saying it’s “not the end … it’s maybe the beginning of her story.”
“We know the rules are where they are; maybe we should take another look at them,” Psaki suggested. “We certainly have to respect the role of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee in the decisions they make.”
“But it is sad and we do wish her luck and look forward to seeing her running as the fastest woman in the world for years to come,” Psaki added.