According to the NY Times, it is unclear if track sensation Sha’Carri Richardson will be able to compete in the Olympic games after testing positive for Marijuana.
Richardson, 21, won the women’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon last month, but her positive test automatically invalidated her result in that event.
It is unclear if Richardson will appeal the test result and the disqualification, or how long her suspension will be. It could be as short as one month, which might clear her in time to run in sprint events that take place later in the Games.
Richardson’s suspension was confirmed by two people with knowledge of the test results who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation.
U.S.A. Track & Field has notified other women who competed in the 100-meter final at the trials about the failed drug test, according to one person with direct knowledge of the information, and several runners have been told that they have moved up a spot in the final standings.
Jenna Prandini, who placed fourth at the trials, has been notified that she will now be one of the three American women running the 100 in Tokyo, and Gabby Thomas, who finished fifth at the trials, was named as an alternate for the race, the person said.
It is possible that a one-month ban for Richardson could be dated so that it would begin at the time of her positive test at the trials, allowing her to return to competition just before the Olympics, which begin on July 23.
Track and field events at the Games do not begin until July 30, but that day’s schedule includes the first qualifying rounds in the women’s 100.
News of the positive test was first reported by The Gleaner, a newspaper in Jamaica.
Richardson was expected to compete in the 200 meters at a Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Sunday but she was not listed on the event’s entry list Thursday night.
She has not commented on the positive test, but early Thursday afternoon she cryptically tweeted, “I am human.”
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
Twitter users weighed in on the topic and opinions were split. Most saying weed should not be cause for suspension but that Sha’Carri should have been more mindful, considering what was at stake.
The fact that people keep saying it’s just weed and not seeing the big picture is crazy.
She’s a professional athlete, if something is banned in your Sport and you risk it then deal with the consequence. If weed is enough to throw away a gold medal then have at it!
— MidNight (@MidNight00) July 2, 2021
Should have reminded yourself what was at stake before smoking that joint…
Truthfully, Marijuana shouldn’t be banned… but sadly it is a banned substance for Olympic Athletes…
All of that hard work… wasted.
— Alex Cutler (@AlexCutler247) July 2, 2021
While Richardson’s suspension could be over by the time the Olympics open, the positive test would — if upheld — erase her Olympic trials performance.
Unlike the Olympic selection processes of some other countries, U.S.A. Track & Field’s procedures leave little room for discretion over who qualifies.
They dictate that the top three finishers in a given event at the trials qualify for the Olympics, provided their performances reach the Olympic standard.
It is possible that Richardson could still compete in the 4×100-meter relay even if she is ruled out of the individual race.
The decision would be up to U.S.A. Track & Field, the national governing body of the sport.
Up to six athletes are selected for the country’s relay pool, and four of them must be the top three finishers in the 100 meters at the Olympic trials and the alternate.
The governing body names the remaining two members of the relay pool.
Representatives for U.S.A. Track & Field did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Neither did officials from the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the Athletics Integrity Unit, the independent anti-doping arm of World Athletics, the global governing body of track and field.
Renaldo Nehemiah, Richardson’s agent, did not respond on Thursday to a phone call or a text message.
A suspension for testing positive for marijuana can be up to two years.
The minimum length is a month if an athlete can prove the use of marijuana was not related to sports performance and if the person completes a substance abuse treatment program.
Speaking her truth
Sha’Carri explained to The Today Show exclusively that around the time of being tested she had heard from a reporter that her mother had passed and chose to deal with her emotions and her mental health in her own way.
She apologized to her fans for the disappointment but reminded us that she was human and that we should not judge her.
Sha’Carri lost her mother, heard it while in an interview, and had to put on a brave face in front of the world. Many of us couldn’t do it.
Listen to the exclusive interview below:
View this post on Instagram
And remember her moment below:
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 20, 2021