Sha’Carri Richardson is officially out of this year’s summer games.
According to ESPN, the banned sprinter was not on the Olympic roster that was released yesterday by USA Track and Field (USATF).
Richardson’s positive test for marijuana has not only cost her the spot in the 100-meter individual race but her chance at running on the relay team in Tokyo as well.
The 21-year-old’s positive test also voided her win at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon last month along with the spot that accompanied the win, the 100-meter race in Tokyo.
Despite the fact her 30-day suspension will end before the start of the relays on August 5th, Richardson’s possibility of winning a medal in this year’s game is now slim to none.
The last chance for her to be a part of the Olympics has now been shattered upon the USTATF’s latest decision.
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USATF instead gave the remaining relay spots to sixth-and seventh-place finishers who both moved up in the pecking order following Richardson’s disqualification.
According to a statement released by USATF, the federation said that it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” and that they “fully agree” that the international rules regarding marijuana should be reevaluated.
“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,” the statement continued.
After her victory on June 19, Richardson tested positive for marijuana. She notes that the recent death of her biological mother, along with the pressure of preparing for the trials caused her to turn to the drug to cope.
“I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain,” shared Richardson on NBC’s “Today” show.
Although the circumstances have changed, Richardson also expressed that this is not the end of her Olympic dreams.
“This is just one Games,” she continued. “I’m 21, I’m very young. … 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 steroid, no anything. This incident was about marijuana, so after my sanction is up I’ll be back and able to compete, and every single time I step on the track I’ll be ready for whatever anti-doping agency to come and get what it is that they need.”
While restrictions on marijuana use were loosened by international regulators after the 2012 Olympics, it is still a stance that has triggered a huge debate.
Do you think the decision to leave Sha’Carri Richardson out of this year’s games was fair?