Image source: Getty / Patrick Smith
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, 21, who won the 100-meter race at the Olympic trials last month, has tested positive for marijuana. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced the positive test Friday morning, and Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension. Her lack of qualification began on June 28th. According to USADA, she received a one-month suspension, the smallest penalty under the rules, because her cannabis use happened outside the competition and was not related to her performance.
Richardson was going to the Olympics in Tokyo and competing in the 100-meter sprint after securing her place during the Olympic trials in Oregon on June 19, where she ran a 10.86 time and became America’s fastest woman. But after a urine sample was collected on June 19, she tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana. Marijuana is legal in Oregon, where the Olympic trials were held, but is a banned substance for athletes competing in the Olympics under the guidelines of the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Motion Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy and World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Richardson apologized during a performance on Today show Friday morning and said to Savannah Guthrie: “I want to take responsibility for my actions.” She ingested marijuana as a coping mechanism after a journalist told her her biological mother was dead. “It sent me into a state of … emotional panic,” she said Todayand added that she was “blinded by emotion, blinded by sadness.”
Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) joins us live for an exclusive interview to discuss the positive marijuana test that puts her Olympic future in limbo. pic.twitter.com/iVBp3zhvja
– TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2021
On July 1, Richardson tweeted, “I am human.” Although her chance to compete in the 100-meter race for Team USA in Tokyo is in jeopardy, she was still able to run the 4×100 relay with the women’s team. After his positive test, Richardson has been disqualified from the 100-meter event by trial. Her one-month suspension will be completed in time for groundbreaking events later in the Games, but it is still not decided whether she will go to Tokyo and represent Team USA.