Team USA cuts Sha'Carri Richardson from Tokyo Olympics relay event, sprinter 'expected' it
Sha'Carri Richardson was recently suspended for one month after testing positive for THC, a substance found in marijuana. Following her failed drug test, she was banned from competing in individual 100m event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Fans, however, were positive that the sprinter, 21, who is a top medal contender would be allowed to compete in the 4X100m relay squad as the event is set to take place after Richardson's suspension ends. But, on July 6, 2021, the USA Track and Field (USATF) confirmed her non-participation in the relay event as well.
Sha'Carri Richardson said on July 7 that she was not bothered by USA Track and Field's recent announcement and that she 'expected' to be excluded from the relay event as well. Richardson admitted to using marijuana to cope with the recent death of her mother. Although, marijuana is legal in Oregon, where the sprinter apparently smoked up while her Track and Field trials for the Tokyo Olympics were ongoing. However, since it is still enlisted as a prohibited substance at the Olympics, Richardson faced suspension.
Speaking of her suspension from the relay team, Richardson told TMZ on Wednesday, July 7, "Honestly that news didn't bother me because me and my team were realistic, so we kind of figured that they would say that in the first place. I understand the situation that's going on so I'm accepting of it, and I just know what I have to do moving forward on my own." She further added, "And if my talent is good enough for me to run in a relay, why isn't it good enough for me to run on my own?, " adding that she has her eyes on 'some races' at the Olympic Games later this month.
Earlier, in a statement issued on Twitter, USA Track and Field noted they have "sympathy" for Richardson, but they also have a responsibility to "maintain fairness for all of the athletes". "While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the US Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games, " the statement said.
USATF’s statement regarding Sha’Carri Richardson: pic.twitter.com/x7w1K6HDe5— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 6, 2021
After the announcement, Richardson tweeted, "The attention that is on track now and was because of very, very few names. So if that’s where fans support lay, you can’t be mad at that." On Friday, July 2, Richardson told NBC's Today Show that she used marijuana to cope up with the death of her biological mother before the trials in Oregon. "I just say don't judge me because I am human. I'm you, I just happen to run a little faster."
The attention that is on track now and was because of very very few names. So if that’s where fans support lay, you can’t be mad at that.— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 7, 2021
Richardson learned about her biological mother's demise from a reporter's question during an interview. "I knew I was having an interview. I was just thinking it would be a normal interview. And then… to hear that information come from a complete stranger, I was definitely triggering, it was nerve shocking because it's just like, how are you to tell me that? And no offense against him at all. He was just doing his job. But definitely, that put me in a state of mind, in a state of emotional panic, if anything, " she told NBC.