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WATCH: Jen Psaki Offers Strong Support for Suspended Track Star Sha’Carri Richardson

WATCH: Jen Psaki Offers Strong Support for Suspended Track Star Sha’Carri Richardson

Every four year (in this case, five) American Olympic heroes emerge. This summer, Sha’Carri Richardson was sure to become one of them. But then it was announced that the sprinter would not be competing in the 100 meter race at this year’s games.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Richardson had failed a drug test due to marijuana use. Pundits were quick to point out that marijuana would certainly not enhance her performance in a race. And it is also now legal in 19 American states.

During a Friday presser Jen Psaki was asked about the suspension and she came out in strong support of the track star.

A reporter asked the press secretary ,”Sha’Carri Richardson, the U.S. track star, has been suspended following a positive test for marijuana use. Does the President support that penalty or does he want to see her be able to represent the United States fully at the Olympic Games this summer?”

Psaki replied:

“I would say, first, that this was an independent decision made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and not a — not a decision that would be made by the U.S. government, as is appropriate. And we will certainly leave them the space and room to make their decisions about anti-doping policies that need to be implemented.

I will also note that Sha’Carri Richardson is an inspiring young woman who went — has gone through a lot, personally. And I think — and she also happens to be one of the fastest women in the world, and that’s an important part of the story as well.

So this is an independent — an independent decision by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but I also felt it was important to note who she is and her history.”

Watch a clip from the press conference below:

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