Sha’Carri Richardson reacts after competing in the first round of the women’s 100 meter race on 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 the U.S. Olympic team for a month after failing a marijuana use test.
Richardson’s suspension means the 21-year-old will not be able to compete in the women’s 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics.
This event will occur during her suspension issued by and accepted by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
But it is possible that she could still compete in the 4 x 100 meter relay. The season will take place after its suspension, which began last Monday.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” said Richardson on Friday on the NBC show “TODAY”.
“I know what to do.”
Richardson said during her interview that days before attending the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, she ingested some marijuana after she was shocked to learn from a reporter that her birth mother had died.
Marijuana use is legal in Oregon. But it is a prohibited substance under the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Richard tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana, after her victory in the Eugene 100 meter trials.
“It put me in … a state of emotional panic,” she said when she heard the news about her mother.
Richardson said she was “blinded by emotion” and “hurt” after receiving the news.
“I want to say to my friends, my family, my sponsorship, um, also the haters, I apologize,” she said.
“As much as I am disappointed, I know that when I go out on the track, I am not representing myself. I represent a community that has shown me great support and love,” said Richardson. “When I stand here, I’m just saying, don’t judge me because I’m human, I am you, I just run a little faster.”
Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, said in a statement: “The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels, despite the costly consequences for them.”
The US track and field team said in a statement posted on Twitter: “Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved.”
“The health and wellbeing of athletes continues to be a top priority for the USATF and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has adequate resources to meet all mental health challenges now and in the future.”