Track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson is serving a 30-day suspension for testing positive for THC. She will not be able to compete in the 100-meter race at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics after winning the event in the U.S. Olympic trials on June 19. Richardson talked about the suspension and positive test on the TODAY show and revealed that she was using marijuana to cope with the death of her biological mother.
"People don't understand what it's like to have to — alright, people do. We all have our different struggles. We all have our different things we deal with," Richardson said. "But to put on a face, to have to go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain, I don't know ... Who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with 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?"
Richardson's suspension ends on July 27, which means she could compete in the women's relays. However, the USA Track and Field hasn't made Olympic plans for Richardson yet. Regardless, social media users are not happy that Richardson won't be able to live out her dream.
I hate that it took Sha’Carri Richardson losing this incredible opportunity to spark more convo surrounding pain management & mental health for athletes. Rules need to change w/ the evolving laws/science that has destigmatized marijuana’s use. Good on her for owning her misstep— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) July 2, 2021
One person wrote: "This is an overreach using an outdated rule by an agency that created to prevent cheating with performance-enhancing drugs. Irony is that they've hurt the competition by suspending her for off-season activity that had NOTHING to do with cheating or performance-enhancing drugs."prevnext
Feeling so terrible for @itskerrii right now. Just know, we are with you!!— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) July 2, 2021
Another person wrote: "stupid antiquated rules. the level of enthusiasm, excitement, and attention she brought to the sport was unmatched. People who never watched track were looking forward to watching her run in Tokyo. Here's hoping they have enough common sense to name her to the 4x100 team."prevnext
This is trash. Standing with @itskerrii 💯. This has BEEN outdated.— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 2, 2021
One fan has a message for those who are not supporting Richardson. The person wrote: "Yes, just follow orders. No matter if they are wrong or right. That's a fantastic attitude. Nothing broken or oppressive about that."prevnext
So let me get this straight: the cannabis industry is projected to rake in $70 billion by 2028, but thousands of people are behind bars for cannabis charges, and Sha’Carri Richardson is suspended from the Olympics for using it?— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 2, 2021
"Cannabis Law makes no sense and never made sense, it is just a law to be able to get people into prison, if you need to," one social media user wrote. "Pure dictatorship of the evil intend."prevnext
Suspended from the @Olympics for a medicine legal in her state that doesn’t affect her performance and eased the grief of losing her mother?
Enough of this. Let Sha’Carri run. https://t.co/gycEhomihX— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 2, 2021
Sha’Carri is an incredible athlete with a bright future. That her dreams are being crushed over a substance that should be legal across the country is devastating and wrong. Her heartfelt apology shows her strength even in the face of adversity.https://t.co/PeohD20Emo— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 2, 2021
One person said: "It is truly outrageous that we as a country are still penalizing people because of cannabis. Why is Congress not doing anything about this issue yet?"prevnext
So Sha’Carri can’t run because of marijuana, multiple African runners can’t run because their T levels are “too high,” and swim caps for Afro hair have been banned. Anyone else see a pattern here?— Britni de la Cretaz (@britnidlc) July 2, 2021
And another person wrote: "I'm still trying to understand why the Namibian runners couldn't compete due to naturally occurring Testosterone levels in their bodies when the Olympic board has already made an exception for Laurel Hubbard."prev