A few days after it was reported that she failed a mandatory drug test and was subsequently suspended for a month, Sha’Carri Richardson has been left off of the U.S. Olympic team.
In a statement they released on Tuesday (July 6), the USATF announced that Richardson, who was disqualified from participating in the 100-meter dash at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, will also be left off of the 4 x 100 relay team.
“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 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games,” reads one part of the statement.
It continues: “All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current anti-doping code, and our credibility as the National Governing Body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances. So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team.”
Richardson was initially suspended after a drug test found traces of marijuana in her system. According to World Anti-Doping Agency rules, marijuana usage is prohibited in competition. Because of the way the drug has been de-stigmatized, if not outright made legal, in many places, many were outraged that it could lead her to miss out on the 100-meter dash.
Speaking on the “TODAY” show last week, Richardson took responsibility for her actions.“I would like to say to my fans and my family and my sponsorships and to the haters too: I apologize,” she said. “As much as I’m disappointed, I know [this] doesn’t represent myself or the community that has shown me great support and great love. And to y’all, I feel y’all and I apologize… I [didn’t] know how to deal with my emotions and control my emotions during that time.”
At another point of the interview, she said that a reporter informed her that her biological mother had passed away, and that using marijuana was one way for her to cope with her emotions.
“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt,” she explained. “I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”