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Broken Rules Have Consequences

The Bible teaches Christians that God is the embodiment of Justice and that His Law is absolute. It also teaches that sin itself is an act that falls short of God’s glory. For example, take James 4:17, which says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Psalm 19:1-2 shows that humanity has no excuse for failing to acknowledge the Lord and His Law because this Law is evident all around us, even if we are too proud to see it: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”

Similarly, this moral lesson applies to the secular world: if someone knows the rules and fails to follow them, they have earned the negative consequences that result. Unfortunately, this lesson is not always learned.

For instance, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (better known as “AOC”) proudly attempted to put pressure on the US Anti-Doping Agency to reverse their decision after black runner Sha'Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana usage and received a temporary suspension from the Olympic team that will prevent her from competing in the women’s 100-meter dash at the Tokyo Olympics. [1]

Even though Richardson herself has (rightly) taken responsibility for her use of marijuana, according to AOC, Richardson should not have been suspended because “Their decision lacks any scientific basis. It's rooted solely in the systemic racism that's long driven anti-marijuana laws.” [3]

No matter what AOC may say, racism is not the driving factor in this decision.

First, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which regulates the substances used by athletes in events like the Olympics, has a clearly published set of guidelines that specifically prohibit the use of “cannabinoids” in competition. [2]

This rule applies to all athletes, including white Olympic-hopeful Cory Juneau, who was also suspended before the 2020 Olympic Games for marijuana use. [4] The rule itself was not applied to Richardson because she is black, it was applied to her because she is an athlete.

Second, banned substances are only included on the WADA list if they meet two of three criteria: 1) It enhances, or could potentially enhance, an athlete's performance, 2) it could pose a health risk for athletes, or 3) It “violates the spirit of sport.” [6]

The Centers for Disease Control acknowledges that marijuana usage can lead to increased risk of stroke and heart attack, which checks the box for a health risk. [5] Furthermore, an article co-authored by the scientific director of WADA, Olivier Rabin, also notes that marijuana use “is not consistent with the athlete as a role model for young people,” which points to the notion that marijuana “violates the spirit of sport.” [7] Clearly, it meets two criteria.

No matter what AOC may think, Richardson’s suspension was justified. It was not the result of racism, but the result of Richardson’s decisions, the same decisions that she took ownership of in an interview where she stated: “I know what I did, I know what I'm supposed to do...and I still made that decision.” [8]

Biblical morality makes clear that, if someone knows the rules and fails to follow them, then they deserve to receive the consequences. God bless Sha’Carri Richardson for having greater moral fortitude than one of our nation’s leading politicians.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] Homero De la Fuente, “Sha'Carri Richardson suspended from US Olympic team after testing positive for marijuana,” CNN (July 2, 2021),

[3] Jason Lemon, “AOC Urges Anti-Doping Agency to End Sha'Carri Richardson Suspension, Says Decision Rooted in 'Racism',” Newsweek (July 3, 2021),

[4] Courtney Elder, “Cory Juneau Is the First Olympic Skateboarder to Be Suspended for Weed,” Cannabis Aficionado (January 23, 2019),

[5] “Health Effects,” Centers for Disease Control (n.d.),

[7] Marilyn A. Huestis, Irene Mazzoni, and Olivier Rabin “Cannabis in Sport: Anti-Doping Perspective,” NCBI (November 1, 2011),

[8] Drew Weisholtz, “TODAY exclusive: Sha'Carri Richardson speaks out about failing drug test ahead of Olympics,” Today (July 2, 2021),

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