Sha’Carri Richardson received a 30-day suspension after she tested positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. She will no longer be able to participate in the women’s 100-meter race but is still eligible for the 4×100 relay. Richardson recently qualified for the U.S. Olympic team for the women’s 100-meter race after winning the race at the trials with a time of 10.76 seconds.
The athlete, who has over 1 million followers, took full accountability for her actions in an interview with Today. “I want to take full responsibility for my actions. I know what I did [and] I know what I’m supposed to do,” she said.
When responding to the news, she initially wrote on Twitter, “I am human.” She further explained that her use of marijuana was her way of coping with the loss of her biological mother, which she learned about from a news reporter.
“Hearing that information come from a complete stranger was definitely nerve shocking because it’s just like how are you to tell me that,” she stated. “Being in that position of my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship that I had with my mother– so that definitely was a very heavy topic on me.”
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
Richardson accepted her one-month suspension on Friday. According to the Anti-Doping Agency, marijuana qualifies as a substance of abuse. “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,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart in a press release Friday.
President Joe Biden spoke about the Anti-Doping Agency’s decision at an event in Michigan. “The rules are the rules. Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules,” he said.
People have been enraged about the news. A petition of 350,000 signatures has been signed. Tommy Chong, actor and cannabis rights activist said, “No need to apologize for using God’s medicine! [BS] unjust antiquated rules.” Athlete Dwayne Wade commented, “But majority of y’all rule makers smoke and probably are investors in THC companies. Let’s stop playing these games.”
Richardson is not letting the suspension hold her back; she has declared that she will be the world champion next year. “I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year.”