US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson out of Olympic 100m after positive cannabis test

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

American Sha'Carri Richardson will not take part in the Olympic 100-metre race after being handed a one-month ban for testing positive for marijuana and is a doubt for the whole of the Tokyo Games.

Richardson, who won the 100m at Olympic trials in 10.86 seconds on June 19, told of her ban Friday on the "Today Show." She tested positive at the Olympic trials and so her result is erased. Fourth-place finisher Jenna Prandini is expected to get Richardson's spot in the 100.

Richardson accepted a 30-day suspension that ends July 27, which would be in time to run in the women's relays. USA Track and Field has not disclosed plans for the relay.

The 21-year-old sprinter was expected to face Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in one of the most highly anticipated races of the Olympic track meet. Earlier this year the Texan ran the sixth-fastest time in history.

On Thursday, as reports swirled about her possible marijuana use, Richardson put out a tweet that said, simply: "I am human." On Friday, she went on TV and said she smoked marijuana as a way of coping with her mother's recent death.

"I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt," she said on "Today." "I know I can't hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain."

Richardson had what could have been a three-month sanction reduced to one month because she participated in a counseling program.

While not weighing in on her prospects for the relays, USATF put out a statement that said her "situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved." The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it was "working with USATF to determine the appropriate next steps."

Richardson said if she's allowed to run in the relay "I'm grateful, but if not, I'm just going to focus on myself."

She added: "To put on a face and go out in front of the world and hide my pain, who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with pain and struggles you've never had to experience before?”

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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