Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson likely will not be competing in the 100-meter dash in the upcoming Olympics after having tested positive for cannabis.
At the U.S. Olympic trials last month, Richardson won with a time of 10.86 seconds, making her a gold medal contender, according to ESPN.
However, she had ingested marijuana while in Oregon for the Olympic trials after learning that her mother had died, she told NBC’s “Today” show during a Friday interview.
Because that is a banned substance, she faces a suspension and also will have her results from the trials voided.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson said. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision.”
“Not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but just, however, being in that position of my life and finding out something like that — something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted my life positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, so that definitely was a very heavy topic on me,” she said.
“To have to go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain — like, who, I don’t know, who are you, or who am I to tell you how to cope?” Richardson said.
She said during the interview that she suffered “emotional panic” after learning of her mother’s death.
During the interview, “Today” host Savannah Guthrie noted that there is a chance for Richardson to compete in Tokyo as a member of the women’s 4×100 relay team because the race comes after her suspension for drug use would be over.
Guthrie asked Richardson about competing.
“Right now I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself,” Richardson said.
“If I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not right now, then I’m just going to focus on myself.”
Asked what she would say to her fans, she said, “I apologize. … I represent a community that’s shown me great support, great love. And to y’all, I failed y’all, and so I apologize for the fact that I need to know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”
“I’m human, we’re human,” Richardson added, adding that she has never used steroids.
“It’s never been a steroid. It will never be a steroid,” she said.
“Don’t judge me, because I am human,” she said. “I’m you. I just happen to run a little faster.”
Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth in the 100 during the June 19 trials, will take Richard’s place. Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels, who were second and third behind Richardson, are also on the U.S. team.
USATF Statement regarding Sha’Carri Richardson
— USATF (@usatf) July 2, 2021
“Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved,” USA Track & Field said in a statement. “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.”
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