Track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson has learned her status for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after being suspended for a positive drug test. As mentioned by ESPN, Richardson, 21, was not on the Olympic roster released on Tuesday by USA Track and Field, which means she won't be part of the relay team along with competing in the 100-meter race. Richardson tested positive for marijuana in her system, which led to her being suspended for 30 days.
During the U.S. Olympic trials, Richardson won the 100-meter race, earning a spot in the Olympics. But with when the news of the positive drug test was released, Richardson's win at the Olympic trials was nullified. Many people thought she would have a chance to compete in the 4x100 relay since her suspension ends before the event starts on August 5. However, USATF decided not to offer Richardson a spot.
In a statement, USATF said it was "incredibly sympathetic toward Sha'Carri Richardson's extenuating circumstances" and "fully agrees" that 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 read.
Shortly after learning of her suspension, Richardson went on the TODAY show and said her Olympic journey is just beginning. This is just one Games," she said. "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."
Richardson also took responsibility for her actions. "Honestly, I just want to apologize for my actions," Richardson said. "I know what I did. I know what I'm supposed to do, I'm allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. Not making any excuse, or looking for any empathy in my case." The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will start on July 23 and end on August 8.