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“I Was Trying to Hide My Pain’: Star US Athlete Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympic Downer After Testing Positive For Cannabis

Star US athlete Sha’Carri Richardson has admitted taking cannabis to deal with emotional stress – that’s after she failed a drug test that has ruled her out of contention for the 100 m  Olympics after she failed a drug test. Richardson had established herself as an Olympic gold medal contender by winning the 100m in 10.86sec at US trials last month. 


US Doping Agency confirms Richardson tested positive for cannabis

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirmed Friday, 2 July 2021, that Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension by which the results of her Olympics trials have been “disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes” as allowed under the international anti-doping regulations.

The positive test result also means that all of Richardson’s results from the trials are wiped out, voiding her victory in the 100m final.

Richardson’s suspension period was reduced to one month because her cannabis consumption occurred out of competition and did not affect her performance. She also completed a counseling program.


Sha’Carri Richardson may be the most exciting sprint star since Usain Bolt


Aside from the one-month sanction, Richardson’s eligibility for the Tokyo Olympics is considered by the USOPC and/or USA Track & Field eligibility rules.

In an interview on NBC’s Today Show on 2 July 2021, Richardson, who lost her mother a week ago, told Savannah Guthrie that she wanted to take responsibility for her actions. “I know what I did, I know what I am supposed to do…and I still made that decision.” 


Richardson” “Blinded by emotions….hiding hurt”

She told NBC that several days before the Olympic trials, Richardson found out from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away. She said the horrible news sent her into a “state of emotional panic.”

She said it was the trigger, after which she was “blinded by emotions, blinded by bad news, blinded by hurting…hiding hurt.”

Richardson also talked about the pressure she’d been dealing with as a sports celebrity and the stress of constantly being under public scrutiny. “I was trying to hide my pain.”

When asked about whether there was still a chance she’d still make it to the Olympics for at least part of the relay, Richardson said that right now she is just focusing on herself and on healing, but would definitely take it as a blessing if she was able to compete.


Sha’Carri Richardson cannabis

To her fans, family, and sponsors, Richardson said: “I apologize for not knowing how to control my emotions.”


Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper was first to report the news on Thursday night, 1 July 2021, saying Richardson tested positive for an unspecified prohibited substance.

According to one source familiar with the matter, the positive test came at the US Olympic trials last month where Richardson established herself as a gold medal contender by winning the 100m in 10.86sec.

Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) but if athletes can prove that their ingestion of the substance was unrelated to sports performance then a suspension of three months rather than the usual four years is imposed.

If an athlete is willing to undertake an approved treatment program in collaboration with their national anti-doping body then the ban can be reduced to one month.

The Texan was aiming to become the first American woman to win the Olympic 100m title since Gail Devers in 1996 after posting 10.72sec in April – one of her five runs under 11 seconds this season.


Biden: Rules are rules

President Joe Biden said “the rules are the rules” on Saturday, 3 July 2021 when a reporter asked whether he thought Sha’Carri Richardson’s one-month suspension for cannabis use was fair. 

But the president went on to question if the rules should remain that way. “The rules are the rules,” Biden told reporters. “And everybody knows the rules going in, but whether it should remain that way is a different issue.”

“I was really proud of the way she responded,” he added.



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