Tokyo Olympics: U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, suspended after testing positive for marijuana

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U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended after testing positive for marijuana, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday said.

Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended for one month after testing positive for marijuana, Photo: AP

The 21-year-old Richardson won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on June 19, but tested positive at the competition. The test results could invalidate her victory and may have her suspended from the sport for a month or longer, gazettengr reported.

During interview with NBC’s “TODAY show”. on Friday, Richardson blamed the positive test on her use of marijuana as a way to cope with the unexpected death of her biological mother while she was in Oregon for the Olympic trials.

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She said she learned about the death from a reporter during an interview and called it triggering and nerve-shocking.

“It sent me into a state of emotional panic, I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time,” she said.

She apologized to her fans, her family and her sponsors.

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“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” she said on NBC. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision.”

Even thus Marijuana is legal in some US states including Oregon, where the Olympic trials were held, Richardson was handed a month suspension which started on June 28, she could run in the 4×100 meter relay if listed to represent the U.S. team.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had in January classified marijuana as a ‘Substance of Abuse’, the maximum penalty of which is a four-year ban.

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The agency may reconsider the penalties, if the  athlete proves that the drug was used out of competition and was not used for the benefit of sporting performance. In that case, the ban could be reduced to three months with no further investigation into the use. 

The agency set out the period before midnight on the day before a competition in which the athlete is to participate until the end of the competition and the sample collection process as its in-competition window. 

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