Sha’Carri Richardson suspended from US Olympic team after testing positive for marijuana


American athletics star Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended for one month from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Friday.

“The rules are clear, but it’s heartbreaking on many levels; Hopefully her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example for all of us that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of them for her, ”said USADA CEO Travis T Tygart, in a press release.

Richardson appeared on NBC’s TODAY Friday Morning Show and said, “I just want to take responsibility for my actions, I know what I’ve done, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed to not. not do it and I have always made this decision. I am not looking for an excuse or a search for empathy in my case. ”

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Richardson booked her spot at the Tokyo Olympics with a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., Last month. Due to the positive test, her Olympic trial results were automatically disqualified and she will not be allowed to compete in her 100m race at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

Friday’s USADA statement read: “Richardson’s in-competition results on June 19, 2021, including her Olympic qualifying results in the team trials, have been disqualified and she forfeits all medals, points and price. Beyond the one-month sanction, athlete eligibility for the Tokyo Games is determined by USOPC and / or USA Track & Field eligibility rules. ”

Richardson celebrates winning the 100m final at the US Olympic Trials.

Patrick Smith / Getty Images North America / Getty Images

Richardson celebrates winning the 100m final at the US Olympic Trials.

Richardson cited a reporter ‘s discovery that her birth mother had died as one of the reasons she had used marijuana, saying, “I just thought it would be a normal interview, then on the interview to hear this. information come from a complete stranger. , it was really triggering, it was shocking to the nerves because who are you like to tell me that?

“From there, just blinded by the emotions, blinded by the bad news, blinded by just hiding the pain, honestly for the fact that I can’t hide, so at least in a way I ‘trying to hide my pain. ”

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and USADA qualify cannabis as a prohibited substance because it “poses a risk to the health of athletes, has the potential to improve performance and violates the spirit of the sport.”

“Everything I do comes naturally from me. No steroid (s). No nothing. This incident involved marijuana. Once my sanctions are lifted I will be back and able to compete and every time I get on the track I will be ready to compete for any anti-doping agency that comes up and get what they need, ”said Richardson. concluded.

“Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved,” USA Track and Field said in a statement. “The health and well-being of the athletes continues to be one of the most critical priorities for the USATF and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has sufficient resources to overcome any issues. mental health now and in the future. ”

CNN’s Aleks Klosok and Jill Martin contributed reporting.

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