US track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended for one month from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday.
News of the infringement arrives four weeks before the start of the athletics competition at the July 23 to August 8 showpiece in Tokyo.
Appearing on NBC’s Today show, the 21-year-old confirmed that she had tested positive for THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis, which she used after hearing that her mother had died.
She told NBC the news of her mother dying was broken to her by a reporter, sending her into a “state of panic” in the midst of the pressure to perform on the track.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision,” said Richardson.
“Don’t judge me, because I am human… I just happen to run a little faster.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2021
It’s unclear whether Richardson will miss the Games altogether. She may still be eligible to compete in another event besides the 100m, such as the 4x100m relay.
Richardson said on TODAY that she would be “grateful” for the chance to compete in the relay, but is not focused on doing so.
“Right now, I’m just putting all of my time and energy into dealing with what I need to do, which is heal myself,” she told Savannah Guthrie. “So if I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, right now I’m going to just focus on myself.”
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