Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson will have to put her Olympic dreams on hold until the 2024 Games.
It was previously announced that Richardson would not be allowed to compete in the 100 meters of this month’s Tokyo Games after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. Richardson became an overnight sensation after winning the 100 meters final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in a time of 10.86 seconds last month.
While there have been talks about boycotting the Tokyo Olympics following the news of Richardson missing the games entirely, sprinter Gabby Thomas tweeted her concerns about it.
“It really hurts to see so many black people choosing not to watch the Olympics this year. There are so many black athletes who have put in YEARS of hard work for this moment- myself included. We want your support,” she tweeted.
Richardson seemingly responded to Thomas’ tweet writing, “The attention that is on track now and was because of very very few names. So if that’s where fans support lay, you can’t be mad at that.”
While her suspension was announced last week, many held out hope that she would still be able to participate in the women’s 4×100 relay race on the team, however, Richardson was missing from the USA Track and Field team roster when it was shared on Tuesday, July 6.
In a statement released by USATF, the organization maintains that they are “incredibly sympathetic” toward the sprinter’s “extenuating circumstances and strongly applaud her accountability.” They go on to agree that while “rules related to THC should be reevaluated,” they must uphold the rules as they currently stand.
“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.”
When asked about how Richardson took the official news of her Olympic disqualification, her agent Renaldo Nehemiah told ESPN that the subject actually hadn’t come up when they last spoke. “We haven’t spoken about it at all. It was actually not a topic we focused on,” he said.
Although disappointed that the final word wasn’t in Richardson’s favor, fans understood the rules’ enforcement and still flooded the comments with encouraging words for the 21-year-old track star.
“I mean, I hate it for her. But rules are rules”
“Wow! I hate she gave them this reason, this is exactly what they wanted”
“Y’all know as black people there is no room for error 😢”
“It’s ok , God has something better in store for her 🙏🏾”
The track star previously addressed her failed test in a July 2 “Today” interview with Samantha Guthrie. She accepted responsibility for her mistake and revealed that her mother’s death ahead of her Trials appearance certainly played a part in her decision to disregard the rules.
“Not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but, just, however, being in that position of my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me … that definitely was a very heavy topic on me,” she explained. “People don’t understand what it’s like to have to … go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain.”
Sha’Carri has yet to respond on social media since the USA Track and Field team list was officially released, but based on a July 4 tweet she shared, she’s already focused on dominating in the coming years.