Sha’Carri Richardson suspended from monitor workforce for marijuana

Sha’Carri Richardson reacts after competing in the first round of the Women’s 100 Meter during day one of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 18, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.

Steph Chambers | Getty Images

Track star Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended from one month from the U.S. Olympic team after failing a test for marijuana use.

Richardson’s suspension means that the 21-year-old cannot compete in the women’s 100-meter race at the Tokyo Olympics.

That event will occur during her suspension, which was issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and which she accepted.

But it is possible that she could still compete in the 4x-100-meter relay. The relay will occur after her suspension, which began last Monday.

“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson said on NBC’s “TODAY” show Friday.

“I know what I’m supposed to do.”

Richardson said during her interview that she ingested something with marijuana in it days before she competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, after being shocked to learn from a reporter that her biological mother had died.

Marijuana use is legal in Oregon. But it is a banned substance by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

Richard tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana, after her win in the 100-meter trials in Eugene.

“That sent me into … a state of emotional panic,” she said of hearing the news about her mother.

Richardson said she was “blinded by emotions” and was “hurting” after getting the news.

“I would like to say to my friends, to my family, to my sponsorship, um, to, the haters too, I apologize,” she said.

“As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on the track, I don’t represent myself. I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love,” Richardson said. “Standing here, I just say, don’t judge me because I am human, I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.”

U.S Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement “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.”

The U.S. Track and Field Team in a statement posted on Twitter said, “Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved.”

“Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of the 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.”

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