Sha'Carri Richardson, an American sprinter
, apologized on Friday for her
positive marijuana test earlier this week, saying she would be unable to compete in the Olympic 100-meter sprint.
The 21-year-old star athlete agreed to a 30-day suspension and may be allowed to compete in the women
's relay events once the penalty expires.
Richardson told Savannah Guthrie
" that she used the drug after a reporter confronted her with the news
of her birth mother's death
, but she wasn't looking for sympathy.
“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,” Richardson said Friday morning.
She was in Oregon
at the time, which had legalized recreational marijuana
use in 2015.
"I know what I did. I know what I'm supposed to do... I still made that decision," Sha'Carri Richardson
says about her positive cannabis
test at the US Olympic trials. (via @TODAYshow) pic.twitter.com/OEyn95h5b9 — ESPN (@espn) July 2, 2021
Richardson stated that she was shocked to learn of her mother's death from a stranger, but she did not blame the reporter, who was simply doing his job.
“It was definitely triggering and blinding,” she admitted, adding, “I know I can't hide myself, so I was trying to hide my pain in some way.”
Richardson was suspended, according to the US Anti-Doping Agency.
“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 to her,” USADA CEO
Travis Tygart said in a statement.
Richardson qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics
by winning the women's 100-meter dash in 10.86 seconds, turning heads not only with her speed but also with her style, running with bright orange, free-flowing hair
and long fingernails.