American track star Sha’Carri Richardson is speaking out — and taking accountability — after getting suspended from the U.S. Olympic track team for failing a drug test.
The 21-year-old sprinter was heading to be the favorite in Tokyo this year after winning the women’s 100-meter race going away last month at the US team trials in Eugene, Oregon. She ran a time of 10.86 seconds at the trials, immediately launching her into gold medal contention.
But on Thursday, an Olympic source reported to NBC News that Richardson failed a drug test after that win in Oregon, testing positive for THC — the chemical found in marijuana.
And now, in a new interview with TODAY on Friday, Richardson is speaking out. The world-class sprinter took responsibility for the one-month suspension and owned up to the situation that brought it about, saying (below):
“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do, (what) I’m allowed not to do and I still made that decision. Don’t judge me because I am human.”
Very mature of her to do something like that in this situation — how many athletes have we heard blame faulty tests or loudly bluster about how they are going to “clear their name” or something rather than just owning up to their s**t?! Nice to see somebody act like an adult about it instead…
Still, it must be heartbreaking for the sprinter, who up until this point had been endearing track fans nationwide with her energetic, fun personality and her skills on the track. And then to have it all possibly be taken away — ugh! This sucks!
Richardson has already been through quite a bit this year, too. Her biological mother passed away the week before those Olympic trial races in Oregon, and the track star has been left reeling from that. Even through it all, though, NBC News reports there’s still a “small chance” she could race in one of the relay events in Tokyo.
The popular sprinter summed it all up (below):
“My family has kept me grounded. This year has been crazy for me, going from just last week losing my biological mother, and I’m still here. The fact that I am an Olympian, no matter what is said or anything, I am an Olympian, a dream since I’ve been young — I’m pretty sure everybody’s dream as a track athlete — so being happy is an understatement.”
Here’s her full interview with Savannah Guthrie and the morning show:
Due to the one-month suspension, Sha’Carri will be able to return before the track and field competitions begin at the Olympics on July 30. However, she will not be able to attend the first qualifying rounds in the women’s 100 happening that day. STILL, despite not being able to compete in that event, there’s the possibility she could run in the 4×100-meter relay. That decision lays with the USA Track & Field governing members though.
Twitter had quite a bit to say about the whole situation, unsurprisingly.
Here are just a few of the notable reactions coming in online over Richardson testing positive for marijuana:
“The entire point of drug testing is supposed to be about fair competition, which means eliminating performance enhancement. Pot doesn’t make a sprinter faster. The very idea that this could take her out of competition is obviously way outside of the intent of the rules.”
“Sad story and we all wish her well. She will do well in her second chance but not now. She knew the rules. Life is about chances. Should NOT allowed to participate in these games.”
“She’s cool and I like her, but you broke set rules young lady. I hope you learn from this and come back from this stronger.”
“It’s a joint get over it”
“This young woman is a hero… honesty, vulnerability, and taking accountability for mistakes… what a beautiful role model.”
“Sha’Carri, you took responsibility for your actions which not many people do. We will see you again.”
“This is so stupid. This isn’t a performance enhancing drug and is legal in so many places. I appreciate her taking responsibility, but marijuana use should not be a deal breaker. I’m more bothered by the smoke alarm than the positive test lol”
Amen to that last one, especially! (Smoke alarm and all! LOLz!) Do U have any reactions of your own here, Perezcious readers?
What do U think about this situation, where an athlete can’t reach their dream because of a failed marijuana test — tough s**t, or should the rules be loosened up on weed?? Sound OFF with your take on all this track talk down in the comments (below)…
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