Sha’Carri Richardson has apologized after testing optimistic for THC, the psychoactive chemical present in marijuana. The record-breaking sprinter had certified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo with a come-from-behind win on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials within the 100m qualifier on June 19. She’s now below a 30-day ban from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and suspended from the Olympic monitor workforce.



Richardson ran a ten.86 seconds on the qualifier and went viral along with her emotional trek into the stands to hug her grandmother—since she ran the race after studying her organic mom had died.

She spoke out about her use of the banned substance on NBC’s Today show: “I apologize. As much as I’m disappointed I know that when I step on the track I represent not only myself, I represent a community that has shown great support, great love…I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”

This isn’t the primary time an Olympian’s turned to weed as a type of stress launch. Michael Phelps brazenly admitted to struggled with despair; he was suspended in 2009 after photos have been launched of the swimmer smoking from a bong.

“We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain,” Richardson mentioned. “Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with a 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. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you’re wrong for hurting?”

Though leisure use of marijuana is now totally authorized in 18 states within the U.S.—and Richardson took the drug in Oregon, the place it’s authorized—it’s nonetheless thought-about a banned substance. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is required to stick to the insurance policies from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which prohibits its use amongst athletes.

“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” mentioned USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.

Though Richardson won’t be able to compete within the girls’s 100m race on the Olympics, there’s an opportunity she may very well be chosen to run both of the ladies’s relay occasions. Six certified athletes could also be entered in every relay pool for the 4x100m or 4x400m races, and in response to the principles, 4 have to be entered in particular person races, however two different athletes could also be chosen, leaving a gap for the sprinter.

In the Today interview Richardson mentioned she can be “grateful” for the flexibility to run within the relay and signify the U.S., however it’s not her primary precedence. “Right now, I’m just putting all of my time and energy into dealing with what I need to do, which is heal myself,” she mentioned. “So if I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, right now I’m going to just focus on myself.”

This will hopefully be a catalyst for better communication and assets for athletes—particularly on the professional and Olympic degree—to have better assist for psychological well being and wellbeing. As marijuana continues to develop into extra broadly accepted and devilified, it may not even be on the checklist of banned substances when the following Games roll round.

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