By: Tadi Abedje
Richardson had met the requirements for the Tokyo Olympics after her stellar performance at the United States Olympic Trials. She finished the 100-meter race in 10.86 seconds ahead of Javianne Oliver. Previously in April 2021, she ran a career-best 10.72 seconds, which qualified her for the big stage, according to the World Athletics website.
However, things took a wrong turn as her biological mother passed away a week before the race. After that, Richardson tested positive for marijuana. As a result, she had to complete a counseling program and received a one-month suspension.
To make matters worse, Richardson was left off the relay team thanks to the decision by USA Track and Field. The 21-year-old had been using marijuana to relieve the stress and the pressures that went with the Olympics and her mother’s death. She took responsibility for her actions.
“Being in that position of my life, finding out something like that, something I would say that is one of the biggest things that have impacted me positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship that I had with my mother,” Richardson said in an interview on NBC Today. “As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on that track, I don’t represent myself, I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love.”
Speaking of support, she got an unlikely ally in White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki also added that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency should look at their rules.
“Sha’Carri Richardson is an inspiring young woman who has gone through a lot personally and she also happens to be one of the fastest women in the world,“ Psaki said at her press briefing.