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Ocasio-Cortez: Dropping Sha’Carri Richardson For Failing Drug Test Is ‘An Instrument Of Racist And Colonial Policy’

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Nicole Silverio Contributor
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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the suspension of U.S. track runner Sha’Carri Richardson from the Olympics a form of “racist” policy.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended Richardson for failing her drug test after using cannabis, meaning she can no longer run in the 100m Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Ocasio-Cortez called the criminalization of marijuana “racist” and “colonial” policy and said the IOC should overturn Richardson’s suspension on Twitter Friday.

“The criminalization and banning of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial policy,” the New York representative tweeted. “The IOC should reconsider its suspension of Ms. Richardson and any athletes penalized for cannabis use. This ruling along w/IOC denial of swim caps for natural hair is deeply troubling.”

The International Swimming Federation (FINA), the IOC’s water sports federation, banned Olympic swimmers from wearing swim caps specially designed for black women’s hair June 30, The Guardian reported. (RELATED: Sha’Carri Richardson Discusses Failed Drug Test, Says She Smoked Marijuana To ‘Hide’ Her ‘Pain’)

Journalist Evette Dionne tweeted Friday that Richardson’s suspension has turned into a “Black Americans vs. everybody” issue.

“If you’re afraid of Sha’Carri smoking the brakes off y’all, just say that, but suspending people for using marijuana-a billion dollar industry at this point-is ridiculous. I see people attempting to turn this into a “Black Americans vs. everybody” issue,” Dionne tweeted. “Let’s not. Sha’Carri deserves to run, no matter what country she represents.”

Richardson opened up about her failed drug test Friday saying she smoked marijuana in order to hide the pain over her mother’s death and other events in her life in an interview with “TODAY.”