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American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson will be missing the Olympic Games according to reports after her US Olympic Trials performance was disqualified because she tested positive for marijuana a prohibited substance. Now the athlete is speaking up regarding the circumstances surrounding her failed drug test.
UPDATED 7/2, 9:55 a.m. ET: Sha’Carri Richardson went on the Today show on Friday and spokeabout accepting her one-month suspension for marijuana use and being “blinded by emotions” in the wake of her mother’s death.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” the 21-year-old said. “I know what I did and what I’m not supposed to do. I know what I’m not allowed to do and I still made that decision. Not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but being in that position of my life and finding out something like that—something that I would say has impacted my life positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship with my mother—that definitely was a heavy topic on me.”
Richardson also said she “was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt. I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”
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Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympic dreams may be in jeopardy.
According to Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper, the 21-year-old sprinter tested positive for a prohibited substance during last month’s U.S. Olympic Trials, where she ultimately secured a spot on Team USA. It’s unclear what substance Richardson allegedly consumed, but the outlet points out the infringement could result in a one- to three-month suspension, disqualifying her for the fast-approaching Tokyo Olympics.
Enquirer sports reporter Tyler Dragon cited a source who claims Richardson tested positive for marijuana, rather than steroids. The insider said the athlete is facing a 30-day suspension, which means she could still compete in the 4×100 relay at the Olympics.
Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana. https://t.co/abQRiOJkEV— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 2, 2021
Richardson is expected to be suspended during the 100m at the Olympics but she might get to run on the 4×100 relay.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 2, 2021
The news comes shortly after Reuters confirmed Richardson would not appear at the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday, where she was set to compete in the 200m. Her representatives have not explained her absence in this weekend’s event, but a vague tweet has fueled speculation that it was due to Richardson’s purported substance use.
“I am human,” read the tweet, which was posted Thursday afternoon.
I am human— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
It’s also worth noting that Richardson’s coach, former Olympian Dennis Mitchell, was involved in a doping scandal which resulted in a two-year ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1998.
“Y’all don’t have to worry about any doping situations coming from me,” Richardson told the Irish Times when asked about working with Mitchell. “I back him 1,000 per cent.”
Richardson delivered a stunning performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials last month, where she won the 100m in 10.64 seconds. The victory took place about a week after the death of her biological mother.
“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson told ESPN during the trials. “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week, losing my biological mother, and I’m still here. … Last week, finding out my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still here to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud. And the fact [is] nobody knows what I go through. Everybody has struggles and I understand that, but y’all see me on this track and y’all see the poker face I put on, but nobody but them and my coach know what I go through on a day-to-day basis.”