By: Emily Bunn
American sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, has been suspended from the Olympics for one month.
Sha’Carri Richardson has recently been drug tested and found positive for marijuana usage. As such, she faces a one month suspension from the Olympics- threatening the sensational sprinter’s involvement in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Her suspension is set to begin June 28th, 2021.
The New York Times reports that the timing of this suspension could clear Richardson in time to run in the 4×100 meter relay, which takes place later in the games. However, Richardson is set to miss the qualifying rounds for the women’s 100.
Richardson has recently reveled in victory at last month’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon. However, while in Oregon, the Olympian was also dealing with unexpected death of her mother. Not only was this news devastating, but Richardson found out about the very personal circumstance from a reporter.
As a means of coping with the harrowing tragedy, Richardson admitted to her marijuana usage. She stated: “It sent me into a state of emotional panic…I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.” It should be notes that in Oregon, the use of recreational marijuana has been legalized.
Cannabis is still among the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee ruling of prohibited substances. The famed athlete apologized to her family, friends, and sponsors for her drug usage: “I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”
As a result of Richardson’s suspension, several top runners have been bumped up in their rank positioning. Jenna Prandini is now set to be one of the three American Olympians involved in the women’s 100. Additionally, Gabby Thomas now stands as an alternative athlete for the same race.
Commenting to the Today Show on the situation, Richardson pleaded for spectators to recognize their shared humanity: “I just say, don’t judge me and I am human — I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.”