Shar’Carri Richardson’s chances of competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games are now at stake.
The 21-year-old sprinter tested positive for THC — a chemical in marijuana — and has been suspended from the Olympic team. This news comes just after Richardson secured her spot on the team after running at a record-setting speed and being dubbed “America’s fastest women” at the Track and Field Olympic Trials last week.
Sports reporter for the Enquirer Tyler Dragon tweeted yesterday that “Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana.” Later he added, “Richardson is expected to be suspended during the 100m at the Olympics but she might get to run on the 4×100 relay.”
Dennis Mitchell, who’s Richardson’s coach and a former Olympian himself, was caught up in a doping scandal back in 1998 that consequently landed him a two-year ban granted by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
When speaking about her own career’s trajectory, Richardson had previously told the Irish Times, “Y’all don’t have to worry about any doping situations coming from me.” Concerning training with Mitchell, she’d added. “I back him 1,000 percent.”
In an interview with The Today Show on July 2, the 21-year said that she wants to hold herself accountable for her actions. At the same time, she also expressed that with the pressures of performing on the track and the grief surrounding the recent loss of her biological mother — which happened about a week before her victorious running at the Olympic Trials.
“Just honesty, I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson said. “I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, [and] what I’m not allowed to do — and I made that decision.”
“Not making any excuses or looking for any empathy in my case,” she plainly stated, then added:
“That definitely was a very heavy topic on me. And people don’t understand what it’s like to have to… or people do, we all have our different struggles and different things we deal with. To put on a face and have to go in front of the world and hid my pain, who are you or who am I to tell you how to cope? When you’re dealing with a pain or a struggle that you’ve never experienced before or that you thought you’d never have to deal with,”
According to Richardson, hearing the news that her biological mother had passed away from a reporter in an interview had set her into a state of “emotional panic” just before the Olympic Trials. For the record, as The Today Show host noted, though Richardson expressed knowing drug use is prohibited while competing professionall, the 21-year-old used the substance while in Eugene, Oregon, before the Trials — where it’s legal.
On Twitter, she simply expressed, “I am human.”