Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended from the Olympic team. Does this mean she will not make it to Tokyo? To date, her participation is in question. The 21-year-old track and field sprinter has tested positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana.
After winning the women’s 100-meter race last month, the athlete secured her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, but unfortunately, she under suspension for one month, as reported by NBC News.
“Richardson’s competitive results obtained on June 19, 2021, including her Olympic qualifying results at the Team Trials, have been disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes,” a statement from the USADA said.
The use of THC receives a three-month suspension if the athlete confirms that “their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance.” Luckily, Richardson ”successfully completed a counseling program regarding her use of cannabis;” therefore, her ineligibility is just for one month.
“Right now, I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself,” Richardson said on NBC’s Today show. “I want to take responsibility for my actions,” she added.
“I’m not looking for an excuse. I would like to say to my fans and my family and my sponsorship, to the haters, too, I apologize.”
“As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on that track, I don’t represent myself; I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love,” she added.
“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,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said.
The USA Track & Field also released a statement saying that “Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved.”
“Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF’s most critical priorities, and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future,” the statement concluded.
“This will be the last time the Olympics don’t see Sha’Carri Richardson, and this will be the last time the U.S. doesn’t come home with a gold medal in the 100,” Richardson said. ”This is just one games. I’m 21. I’m very young,” she said. ”I have plenty of games left in me to compete in, and I have plenty of talent that backs me up. After my sanction is up, I’ll be back and ready to compete. This will never happen again.”