After testing positive for a substance found in marijuana, American champion Richardson will be unable to compete in the Olympic 100-meter dash.
On the “Today” show on Friday, Richardson, who won the 100 metres at the Olympic trials in 10.86 seconds on June 19, discussed her ban. Because she tested positive at the Olympic trials, her record has been cleared. Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth, is anticipated to take Richardson’s position in the 100.
Richardson agreed to a 30-day penalty that would conclude on July 27, just in time for the women’s relays. The relay’s intentions have not been revealed by USA Track & Field.
In one of the most anticipated events of the Olympic track meet, the 21-year-old sprinter was scheduled to face Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.
Richardson sent out a tweet on Thursday, simply saying, “I am human,” as allegations about her alleged marijuana usage circulated. She appeared on TV on Friday and revealed she smoked marijuana to cope with her mother’s recent death.
She told NBC that she was “certainly provoked and overwhelmed by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt.” “I know I can’t conceal myself, so I was attempting to cover my misery in some way.”
Richardson’s potential three-month sentence was lowered to one month after she completed a therapy programme.
Following the 2012 Olympics in London, international officials lowered the threshold for a positive marijuana test from 15 nanograms per millilitre to 150 ng/m. They said that the new threshold was set to guarantee that in-competition usage was discovered, rather than use in the days and weeks leading up to the competition.
Despite heated debates over whether marijuana should be classified as a performance-enhancing drug, the United States Anti-Doping Agency states on its website that “all synthetic and naturally occurring cannabinoids are prohibited in competition, except for cannabidiol (CBD),” a byproduct that is being studied for medical benefits.
While without commenting on her relay chances, USATF noted in a statement that her situation is “very sad and upsetting for everyone concerned.” The USOC and USATF are “working together to establish the proper next steps,” according to the USOC.
“I’m grateful if I’m allowed to run in the relay,” Richardson said, “but if I’m not, I’m just going to focus on myself.”
Her case is the latest in a string of doping-related scandals for the US track and field team. Christian Coleman, the reigning world champion in the 100 metres, is serving a suspension for skipping tests, as is Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres, who tested positive for a performance enhancer she blamed on contaminated meat in a burrito.
On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a five-year penalty for interfering or attempting to tamper with the doping-control procedure against defending Olympic 100-meter hurdles champion, Brianna McNeal.
“Who am I to teach you how to cope with pain and issues you’ve never had to experience when you’re dealing with pain and struggles you’ve never had to experience?” According to Richardson.