Track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson will officially miss the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. After dominating last month’s trials, testing positive for THC, and receiving a 30-day suspension, the 21-year-old was not selected to join the USA Track and Field team.
The official 4×100 relay team roster was revealed on Tuesday (July 6) and excludes Richardson, despite her suspension ending before the Aug. 5 event. The women added to the event’s team include the top-four runners— Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini, and Gabby Thomas. English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs, the fifth- and sixth-place finishers at trials were selected for the final two slots.
The USATF released a statement on the decision.
“First and foremost, we are incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances and strongly applaud her accountability – and will offer her our continued support both on and off the track,” the memo said. “While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games.
“All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current anti-doping code, and our credibility as the National Governing Body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances. While our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team.”
As acknowledged by USATF, Richardson has taken full responsibility for her actions and is confident the scandal does not hinder her chances of winning gold medals in the future. As VIBE previously reported, the former Lousiana State University student-athlete promised fans she would race again during an interview on Good Morning America.
She admitted to using marijuana after a reporter caught her off guard about the death of her biological mother during a press event.
“In some type of way, I was just trying to hide my pain,” she said. “I want to take responsibility for my actions. I’m not looking for an excuse,” Richardson said.
“This will be the last time Olympics doesn’t see Sha’Carri Richardson, and this will be the U.S. doesn’t come home with the gold medal in the 100,” she continued.
Cannabis was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances for meeting the criteria of posing a health risk to athletes, having the potential to enhance performance and it violating the spirit of sport.
I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year ??⚡️.
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 4, 2021