FACT CHECK: No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Did Not Send This Tweet About Olympic Qualification Rules
An image shared on Instagram purportedly shows a tweet from Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticizing Olympic qualification rules.
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The Ocasio-Cortez tweet is fabricated. The statement was actually tweeted by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
The alleged tweet shown in the Instagram post is dated July 3 and reads: “So, just to get this straight, if you smoke pot you can be disqualified from the Olympics, but if you are a biological man who takes a year of estrogen you can compete against the ladies in weightlifting.”
The text of the tweet appears to reference American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Hubbard has been named to New Zealand’s team for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and is set to become the first transgender Olympic competitor, according to BBC News. Richardson received a one-month suspension beginning June 28 after testing positive for THC, preventing her from competing in the Olympic women’s 100-meter race, NBC News reported.
The image does not show a genuine tweet from Ocasio-Cortez. A search of her verified Twitter accounts — @AOC and @RepAOC — turned up no results for the purported tweet. Nor does the tweet appear in ProPublica’s archive of her deleted tweets. Had the congresswoman sent such a tweet, media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have.
The text of the alleged tweet attributed to Ocasio-Cortez appears to have been lifted word-for-word from a July 2 tweet sent by Shapiro in response to a tweet from USA Today sports reporter Tyler Dragon. (RELATED: Does This Video Show The Fireworks Display Meant For The Tokyo Olympics?)
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted July 2 that she and Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin signed a letter asking the U.S. Anti-Doping Association to end Richardson’s suspension. While Richardson’s suspension is set to end before the women’s 4×100-meter relay at the Olympics, USA Track and Field omitted Richardson from the team roster released on July 6, CNN reported.