President Joe Biden
defended track star Sha'carri Richardson's suspension on Saturday, saying he was "really proud of the way" she handled the news
Richardson has been in the national spotlight since her
Olympic trials victories in June, but she received a 30-day suspension for cannabis
consumption on Friday, which will prevent her from competing in some events at the Tokyo Olympics
later this month.
Cannabis is a prohibited substance for athletes according to both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States
“Everybody knows what the rules are going in,” Biden told reporters who inquired about Richardson at an event in Michigan
, “whether they should remain that way, whether that should remain the rule, is a different issue. Rules are rules.”
Richardson tweeted "I'm human" on Thursday, when it was first reported that she might face suspension.
In an interview
with the “Today
” show on Friday, she said she was aware of the cannabis ban when she recently used it, but that she was using it to help her cope with her mother’s recent death
. Richardson’s cannabis consumption occurred in Oregon
, where recreational marijuana
has been legal since 2015.
“I know what I did, I know what I'm supposed to do, I know what I'm not supposed to do, and I still made that decision,” she said on Friday.
Richardson has received an outpouring of support from the public in the time since her suspension was announced, including from fellow athletes, political figures, and others who had expected her to compete in the 100-meter dash after excelling in the Olympic trials.
Richardson's 30-day suspension began on June 28, putting her participation in the July 100-meter dash in jeopardy
; however, if she is selected to the U.S. team, she will almost certainly be eligible to compete in the 4x100 meter relay race.