UFC commentator Joe Rogan has let loose in an angry rant about the ban imposed on US track star Sha’Carri Richardson after she tested positive to marijuana.
Richardson was predicted to be a gold medal favourite at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, and her flashy style on the track added to her star power.
But just over a week ago Richardson’s Olympic dreams were dashed when she returned the positive drug test which cost her a place on the USA relay team and in the 100-metre individual race.
Rogan slammed the decision to punish Richardson for smoking marijuana, and was highly critical of the Olympic Games “system” as a whole.
“It’s 100 per cent horses–t,” Rogan ranted on his podcast.
“That lady should be paid millions of dollars. All of them should be getting paid millions of dollars.
“All the winners of the gold medals, all those people that are generating insane amounts of wealth for the Olympics, they should get a giant piece of that.
“They’re responsible for the reason why people are watching the Olympics.
America’s fastest woman tests positive
“The networks are making it [money] and the IOC is making it and all these other people are making it, and the athletes, the whole reason people are tuning in, they get nothing. It’s insane!
“It’s a disgusting, corrupt system.”
Individual US gold medallists actually earn just over $50,000, which contradicts Rogan’s argument that they receive “nothing”. US silver medallists receive a little over $30,000, and bronze medallists get $20,000, with teams splitting the allocated winnings.
Rogan famously enjoys smoking marijuana on his podcast.
“I think it’s infuriating that this lady, who is apparently a shoo-in for the gold medal in the 100 metres – she’s supposed to be spectacular – and they’re not going to let her run,” he said.
“She’s not on the team… for weed? It’s so dumb. If they caught her doing steroids or EPO, OK, but there were a lot of people accusing her of stuff… of a conspiracy… ‘the reason why she smoked weed was so she wouldn’t get caught for steroids’.
“People can’t just look at things for what they are, everyone has to look at things with this conspiracy theory lens.”
Richardson was given a 30-day ban for the positive drug test that would have ended before the scheduled start of the relay event at Tokyo, opening the door for her to still take part in that 4×100-metre race.
However USA Track and Field made the decision to exclude her from the roster, even if it could cost them gold in Tokyo.
The federation had two discretionary picks beyond the top four finishers in the 100-metre final at trials but chose not to offer a spot to the 21-year-old sprinter.
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