By: Alyssa Wilson
Rising track star Sha’Carri Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension after failing a drug test. According to the USADA, the 21-year-old tested positive for THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana.
Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are substances banned in competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, and under the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy.
The 2021 policy newly classifies THC as a “Substance of Abuse” because it is often used in society outside of sports. The rule cites if an athlete proves their use of the substance took place outside of the competition and was unrelated to the performance, the athlete will receive a three-month sanction, but if the athlete completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program, the sanction can be reduced to one month.
Richardson accepted the one-month sanction that began on June 28 and marked the beginning of her one-month suspension. Her time was reduced to one month because her use of marijuana occurred outside of the competition, and she successfully completed a counseling program. Her scores from the June 19 competition are now disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes.
Richardson rose to fame after winning the 100-meter race with a time of 10.86 and qualifying for the Olympics. After winning, she revealed the recent death of her biological mother.
The Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8. Richardson’s one-month suspension will end on July 28, preventing her from running in the individual 100-meter race, but there’s a chance she can be allowed to participate in the relay.
Richardson appeared on the TODAY Show and said she’s putting her time and energy into healing herself. “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. Addressing her fans, family, sponsors and critics, she apologized for not knowing how to control her emotions.
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
In an effort to be transparent, she asked people not to judge her saying, “don’t judge me, because I am human.”
“Don’t judge me, because I am human… I just happen to run a little faster.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2021