Sha’Carri Richardson–The 6th-Fastest Woman Ever–Tested Positive For Marijuana, Will Not Be Able To Run 100-Meter Olympic Race
Update #2 (July 2nd): Sha’Carri Richardson will not be competing in this year’s Olympics after testing positive for marijuana. Sha’Carri Richardson was slated to run the 100-meter race, but now fourth-place runner Jenna Prandini will take her place. Sha’Carri Richardson accepted a 30-day suspension, set to end on July 27th. She could possibly still run in the Olympic relays, but U.S. Track and Field hasn’t released a statement on whether it will let her compete.
The standard suspension of three months was reduced to 30 days since she enrolled in a counseling program.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement,
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her.”
Her Olympic qualifying results from the trials are also revoked, and she will have to waive medals and prizes received.
Original Story: Around three months after proving herself as the sixth-fastest woman of all time, Sha’Carri Richardson has found herself in controversy.
This past April, Sha’Carri Richardson ran the 100-meter dash in 10.72 seconds, making her one of the fastest women in history. Shortly thereafter, she qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. However, her participation in the Olympics is now in doubt, as Sha’Carri Richardson recently tested positive for marijuana. According to Reuters‘ source, the positive test came last month while the runner was at the U.S. Olympic trials. Because marijuana is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), her appearance at the Olympics is now in jeopardy.
Shortly after the news broke, Sha’Carri Richardson seemingly addressed the matter with a cryptic tweet, writing:
“I am human.”
Earlier today (Friday, July 2nd), Sha’Carri Richardson had an interview with TODAY to address the matter. She said:
“Honestly, I wanna take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, I know what I’m not allowed to do, and I still made that decision. But I’m not making an excuse, I’m not looking for any empathy in my case. However, being in that position of my life [and] finding out [about my mother’s passing] definitely was a very heavy topic on me… To put on a face, to have to go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain… Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with a pain or a struggle that you’ve never experienced before, or that you’ve never thought you’d have to deal with? Like who am I to tell you how to cope?”
For context, just days before the Olympic trials, a reporter broke the news to Sha’Carri Richardson that her biological mother passed away. The heartbreaking news and traumatic delivery, as well as the overall pressure she was under at the time, influenced her decision to smoke some weed. For the record, Richardson ingested the marijuana while in Oregon–where it is recreationally legal. However, despite not breaking any laws, she, unfortunately, did violate the rules of her sport.
Sha’Carri Richardson wrapped up her interview by acknowledging her struggle of trying to accomplish her Olympic dream while coping with the loss of her mother. She said:
“[I was] just blinded by emotions, blinded by sadness, blinded by just hurting. Hiding hurt, honestly. But the fact [is] that I couldn’t hide myself, so–at least in some type of way–I was just trying to hide my pain.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2021
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