Sha’Carri Richardson accepted a one-month suspension after testing positive for marijuana, USADA announced today. Since the announcement, the fan-favorite athlete has apologized.
“As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on that track I don’t just represent myself. I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love,” Richardson said during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show this morning.
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She continued, “I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions, or deal with my emotions, during that time.”
Richardson, 21, admitted that she used marijuana after finding out her biological mother died from a reporter prior to competing in the Olympic Trials.
According to USADA, Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for THC, the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, which is prohibited in competition, in a sample that was collected in competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 19.
Nike, the brand that sponsors Richardson, responded to FN’s email request for comment. “We appreciate Sha’Carri’s honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time,” the company said in a statement.
USA Track & Field also shared a statement today in support of the athlete. “Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved. Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of 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,” the statement read.
On June 19, Richardson punched her ticket for the Tokyo Olympics with a dominant win at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Oregon. The athlete recorded a time of 10.86 seconds in the 100-meter race, earning a spot on her first-ever Olympic team.
USADA revealed in the statement that Richardson’s results on June 19, which includes her Olympic qualifying results have been disqualified.
During her “Today” appearance, Richardson also addressed the possibility of still being able to compete in the Olympics, running in the 4×100-meter relay slated to take place on Aug. 6, if selected to participate.
“Right now, I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself. If I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, right now I’m just going to focus on myself,” she said.
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