UPDATE: Sha'Carri Richardson Excluded From U.S. Olympic Team Following Marijuana Test
“I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year.”
UPDATE (July 6, 2021): American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has been left off of the U.S. Olympic team after testing positive for marijuana. With this official announcement, the track and field athlete will not be attending the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Featuring 81 names, the official Olympic team roster posted by USA Track and Field (USATF) does not include Richardson. The 21-year-old, who made headlines for running 100 meters in 10.86 seconds, was suspended after testing positive for THC. Following the news, the track star issued a sincere apology, explaining that she had used marijuana to cope with the pain she felt from losing her biological mother recently.
In response to the situation, USATF told The Hill that it believes the World Anti-Doping Agency should reevaluate rules regarding marijuana use. “We are incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances and strongly applaud her accountability — and will offer her our continued support both on and off the track,” it explained. “While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year,” Richardson took to Twitter after being officially left off of the roster.
I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year ??⚡️.
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 4, 2021
ORIGINAL STORY (July 2, 2021): Sha’Carri Richardson, the American sprinter who made headlines after winning the women’s 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials last month, has now been suspended from the Games. The athlete tested positive for THC, the main chemical found in marijuana.
“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,” the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said in a statement. With the disqualification, Richardson is going through a month-long period of ineligibility that began June 28.
Shortly after the news, Richardson opened up that she used marijuana to cope with the pain from losing her biological mother just before the trials. “I am human,” she wrote on Twitter. The 21-year-old spoke on NBC’s TODAY show: “Right now I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself… I want to take responsibility for my actions. I’m not looking for an excuse.” She further apologized: “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.”
In response to her heartfelt apology, numerous athletes and celebrities have taken to social media to show support for Richardson.”This is so trash man… Just let her run!” American football quarterback Patrick Mahomes wrote, while basketball player Natasha Cloud commented: “Queen, I support you. It’s time to break the stigma surrounding athletes’ use of marijuana. I have my medical card. I play at the highest level my sport has to offer and I use medicinal marijuana for anxiety, recovery, and sleep.” Additional figures who have expressed support include Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.
The 21-year-old sprinter ran the 100-meter race in 10.86 seconds, making her a favorite as Team USA hoped to win its first gold medal in the women’s 100-meter race since Gail Devers in 1996.