Fact Check Friday: Is Sha'Carri Richardson's punishment tougher than others?

Sha'Carri Richardson
Posted at 7:04 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 21:58:39-04

Sha'Carri Richardson beat her competition in the Olympic Trials 100-meter run in June, but then she tested positive for marijuana, disqualifying her from the Olympics. Since then, government officials and others have said her punishment is unfair.

Richardson received a one-month suspension from competition, which means she won't make the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.

"It's sad to see this be the end," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. "It's not the end, I should say, it's the beginning of the story. Maybe we should take a look at the rules."

Facebook users compared Richardson's punishment to that of Michael Phelps. However, Phelps was suspended for three months by USA Swimming in 2009, and his suspension didn't affect international competition.

Other posts are comparing Richardson to Shelby Houlihan, but she wasn't suspended from competition because of marijuana use as the posts claim. Houlihan received a four-year ban for testing positive for an anabolic steroid, which she claims she got from a burrito.

Posts online also claim Houlihan's case wasn't covered because of "white privilege," but there are reports from NPR, USA Today, CNN and others showing this story.

In this case, the posts are wrong and spreading misinformation.