Sha'Carri Richardson Left Off U.S. Olympic Relay Team
By Jason Hall
July 6, 2021
Richardson, 21, who is currently serving a one-month suspension after testing positive for THC, was left off the U.S. Olympic Track & Field official roster announcement on Tuesday (July 6) afternoon.
Richardson, who posted 10.72 seconds in the 100-meter qualifying sprint in April, would have been suspended for the same event at the Tokyo Games, but could have been eligible to represent the U.S. in the 4x100-meter relay, which is scheduled for August 6.
The 21-year-old sprinter accepted the one-month suspension, which began on June 28.
"I apologize," Richardson said on NBC's TODAY Show. "As much as I'm disappointed, I know that when I step on the track I represent not only myself, I represent a community that has shown great support, great love. ... I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time."
Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels and Jenna Prandini have all been included on the U.S. roster for the women's 100-meter sprint, while Gabby Thomas will represent the U.S. in the 100-meter leg of the 4x100-meter relay.
Richardson tested positive for THC following her Olympic qualifying 100-meter victory at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon -- where marijuana is fully legal -- on June 19, according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Many have criticized the Olympic Committee's decision as marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug and is only fully illegal in four of the 50 U.S. states, but still remains banned, per the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Richardson admitted to knowing the committee's rules but said she used marijuana to cope with the recent loss of her biological mother.
"We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain," Richardson said during her recent TODAY Show appearance. "Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with a pain or you're dealing with a struggle that you've never experienced before or that you never thought you'd have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you're wrong for hurting?"
The Texan aimed to become the first American woman to win the Olympic 100-meter since Gail Devers in 1996 with a time of 10.72.
One of Richards' five runs was 11 seconds under Devers' time at the Atlanta Summer Games.