An Aussie Journalist Was Dragged For Trying To Claim That Steroids Cause Long Acrylic Nails

Step aside Karens, Claire has entered the chat.

sha'carri richardson claire lehmann steroids nails

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Over the weekend, news broke that American track star Sha’Carri Richardson had been suspended from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana.

After blitzing through the 100-metre sprint trial in first place with a time of 10.86, it was announced that the 21-year-old Richardson failed her drug test. As a result, the sprinter was slapped with a 30-day suspension that ruled her out of competing in the 100-metre race in Toyko, but still allowed the possibility for participation in the 4×100 relays.

Sha’Carri Richardson accepted the penalty but shared that she only used marijuana because she learned that her birth mother died while she was in Oregon — a state where recreational use of the drug is legal.

“I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, what I’m allowed not to do. And I still made that decision,” Richardson told Today. “[The news of my mother’s death just] sent me into a state of emotional panic. I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”

In response to the news, there was an international outpouring of support for Richardson, with people calling for the decision to be overturned as weed is not a performance-enhancing drug.

But while the world stood behind Sha’Carri Richardson — who originally went viral for her glamorous looks and unbelievably fast speeds — one Australian journalist took the opposite stance by trying to claim that the sprinter’s “strong nails and hair” were a side effect of steroid use.

“Not sure whether the nails are real or fake, but in case you didn’t know very strong nails and hair can be a side effect of steroid use,” Claire Lehmann tweeted. “Look, people in track know who is and who isn’t on the ‘roids. Just because they couldn’t ping her on it doesn’t mean they don’t know.”

“The fact that [Sha’Carri Richardson] has accepted the one-month ban for marijuana and is not fighting to go to the Olympics means that is likely more to the story, in my opinion.”

Ah, of course! Everyone knows that Sha’Carri Richardson’s acrylic nails and bright orange hair extensions are totally natural! And that accepting a penalty that can’t be overturned is an admission of guilt for drugs you did not take! Duh!

Claire Lehmann is no stranger to controversy as a contributor to The Australian and the founder of Quilette, a magazine that The Nation claims “normalises the alt-right”.

But Lehmann didn’t just spit out false claims about Sha’Carri Richardson. She also doubled down on her horrific take by trying to drag Florence Griffith Joyner — otherwise known as Flo Jo — another Black female runner who was also known for her long acrylic nails in the ’80s.

“Flo Jo, obvious drug user, had the nails. She died in her sleep at age 38 because that’s what a lifetime of drug use does to the body (and why it’s supposed to be banned from elite sports),” Claire Lehmann continued.

Now, Flo Jo famously also wore acrylics, not her natural nails, and never once tested positive for steroids. When Flo Jo died at age 38 from a severe epileptic seizure in her sleep, the only drugs that were found in her system were the over-the-counter medications Tylenol and Benadryl. Not steroids or other illegal substances as Lehmann grossly implied.

As one could expect, Claire Lehmann was gloriously dragged for her ridiculous and unfounded claims around long (fake) nails and hair extensions somehow being signs of steroid use despite both Richardson and Flo Jo never testing positive for the substance.

Even rapper Cardi B weighed in on the matter, letting Lehmann know that biotin is actually what helps with healthy hair and nail growth, adding that Claire Lehmann could do with some for her “thin ass hair”.

Meanwhile, a literal neurosurgeon continued this dunk on Lehmann with just 15 perfect words to remind the journalist that acrylic nails are a thing she might not be aware of: “I know your racism is clouding your thinking, but artificial nails are something that exists.”

Proving that ‘Claire’ is the new ‘Karen’, the strangest thing about Lehmann’s baffling tweets wasn’t that she had no understanding of what acrylic nails are.

It’s the fact that a white woman who was set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics actually did test positive for steroids two weeks ago, which Claire Lehmann conveniently chose to ignore in favour of bashing Sha’Carri Richardson.

US runner Shelby Houlihan was banned from competing in the Olympics for four years after her drug test returned a positive for steroids. Houlihan claimed that the positive result for the anabolic steroid nandrolone came from eating a pork burrito the night before — something that’s objectively a whole lot easier to poke fun at than an innocent Black woman with some great acrylic nails and even better wigs.

But regardless, Claire Lehmann has chosen to not apologise for her tweets, or even delete them, despite getting roasted to an absolute crisp online. I guess, nothing can really stop a Claire from being a Karen these days.