Sha’Carri Richardson speaks out as she’s suspended for positive weed test

Sha’Carri Richardson is speaking out and making no excuses as she’s suspended from Team USA over a positive drug test. The 21-year-old sprinter tested positive for marijuana at the US...

Sha’Carri Richardson is speaking out and making no excuses as she’s suspended from Team USA over a positive drug test.

The 21-year-old sprinter tested positive for marijuana at the US Olympic trials, and on Friday, she faced the situation head-on in a “Today Show” interview.

“I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do … I still made that decision,” Richardson told Savannah Guthrie.

Her lawyer confirmed to NBC News that she has been suspended from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana.

“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I’m not looking for an excuse,” Richardson said.

On Friday, the sprinter accepted a one-month suspension as a result of her positive marijuana test. The ban, for “testing positive for a substance of abuse,” began on June 28, 2021.

Sha’Carri Richardson looks on after winning the Women’s 100 Meter final at the Olympic trials.
Getty Images

“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said.

The USADA statement did not confirm whether or not Richardson can run in the relay.

Sha’Carri Richardson runs in the Women’s 100 Meter semifinal.
Getty Images

“Right now I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself,” Richardson said on “Today.”

It’s unclear if she will appeal the drug test results.

Richardson tested positive in Oregon, where recreational cannabis use and possession are legal. Though, marijuana is considered a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and USA Track & Field.

After the London Olympics, international regulators relaxed the threshold for what constitutes a positive test for marijuana from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/m. They explained the new threshold was an attempt to ensure that in-competition use is detected and not use during the days and weeks before competition.

Though there have been wide-ranging debates about whether marijuana should be considered a performance-enhancing drug, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency makes clear on its website that “all synthetic and naturally occurring cannabinoids are prohibited in-competition, except for cannabidiol (CBD),” a byproduct that is being explored for possible medical benefits.”

Her case is the latest in a number of doping-related embarrassments for U.S. track team. Among those banned for the Olympics are the reigning world champion at 100 meters, Christian Coleman, who is serving a suspension for missing tests, and the American record holder at 1,500 and 5,000 meters, Shelby Houlihan, who tested positive for a performance enhancer she blamed on tainted meat in a burrito.

Richardson rose to popularity after winning the women’s 100m race at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials last month, which slated her as one of Team USA’s top gold medal contenders.

Her lengthy lashes, colorful hair and long, manicured nails were fan favorites — aside from her speed and viral victory, when she ran into the stands to hug her grandmother.

Richardson revealed in the NBC interview that her biological mother had died the week before her race.

During her interview on “Today,” she revealed that she learned about her mother’s passing from a reporter — a moment she described as “shocking” and “triggering.”

Sha’Carri Richardson celebrates winning the Women’s 100 Meter final with grandmother Betty Harp.
Getty Images

Richardson confirmed she used the substance after being “blinded by emotion blinded by bad news, blinded by just hurting, hiding hurt honestly… I was just trying to hide my pain.”

“I’m not making an excuse or looking for empathy in my case. However, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that … Dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, that definitely was a very heavy topic on me,” she explained.

Richardson went on to express optimism about her Olympic future.

“This is just one game. I’m 21. I’m very young. Unlike most, I have plenty of games left in me to compete in and I have plenty of talent that backs me up because everything I do comes from me naturally: No steroids. … After my sanction is up I’ll be back and ready to compete,” she said before apologizing to her fans, family, sponsors, and “the haters too.”

“I failed y’all,” she said.

After the positive test made headlines on Thursday, Richardson tweeted, “I am human.”

Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. replied, “This is bull Shxt……tbh.”

In wake of her suspension, athletes and celebrities — including Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Emmanuel Acho and more — have spoken out in support of Richardson on social media.

— With AP

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Jenna Lemoncelli

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