Sha'Carri Richardson Speaks out on Live TV Amid Olympics Suspension for Positive Drug Test

Sha'Carri Richardson will not be able to compete in the 100-meter race at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to a positive drug test. Richardson, 21, won the race at the U.S. Olympic trials on June 19 and tested positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana. On Friday, Richardson spoke out about the ordeal on the TODAY show and explained why she tested positive for THC.

"Honestly, I just want to apologize for my actions," Richardson said, as transcribed by Sporting News. "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." Richardson went on to talk about dealing with the death of her biological mother and using marijuana was a way to cope with the news.

"We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with," she said. "But to put on a face, and have to go in front of the world, and put on a face and hide my pain. Who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with a pain, or dealing with a struggle that you've never experienced before?"

Richardson is suspended for 30 days, which ends on July 27. That would give her time to compete in the women's relays. USA Track and Field has not revealed plans for Richardson but did release a statement following her appearance on the TODAY show.

"Sha'Carri Richardson's situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved," the statement read. Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF's most critical priorities and well will work with Sha'Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future.


Richardson was facing a three-month suspension but was reduced to one month because she took part in a counseling program, according to the Associated Press. With her win at the U.S. Olympic trials being erased, fourth-place finisher Jenna Prandini will get Richardson's spot. Richardson is one of the rising stars in track and field. Along with winning the 100-meter race at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Richardson won the same race at the NCAA Division I Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2019 while attending LSU.