Bolt tells Richardson to refocus and come back after cannabis ban

Usain Bolt (JAM) of Jamaica watches Andre De Grasse (CAN) of Canada as they compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, men's 100m semi-finals at Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 14, 2016 . / REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach / File photo

Usain Bolt of Jamaica watches Andre De Grasse of Canada as they compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, men’s 100m semi-finals at Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 14, 2016 (REUTERS / File Photo )

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt said he hoped US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson could “refocus” and return to the track after completing a month-long ban following a positive test for cannabis.

“I hope she can learn from this and keep going,” Bolt told Reuters, when asked about the failure of the US test for the banned substance, which cost him a spot on the US team for the Olympics. from Tokyo.

“I know she’s been through a lot, you understand, but I hope she can refocus, keep going and do her best because she looks like a really talented athlete,” he added. .

Bolt, however, said athletes had to compete within the rules.

“I have always explained to people that the rules are the rules. I’ve said this throughout my years when it comes to drugs I have nothing to say but the rules are the rules. If they say you should do it and it’s the rule, it’s the rule, ”said the Jamaican, who also won 11 world championship gold medals.

Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but if athletes can prove that ingestion is unrelated to performance, a three-month suspension rather than the usual two or four years is imposed.

If an athlete is prepared to undertake an approved treatment program in conjunction with their national anti-doping organization, the suspension may be reduced to one month.

Richardson was aiming to become the first American to win the Olympic 100m title since Gail Devers in 1996 after registering 10.72 seconds in April – one of her five runs under 11 seconds this season.

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