American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson will not be able to participate in the 100-meter event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 21-year-old standout, who was expected to contend for a gold medal, tested positive for marijuana at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. On Friday, Richardson accepted a one-month ban, retroactive to June 28, for failing the test.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson told NBC on Friday. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do and am allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. I’m not making an excuse. I’m not looking for any empathy in my case.”
According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)’s rules on the matter, an athlete who tests positive for marijuana — or anything else they consider a “substance of abuse” — will receive a three-month sanction as long as it was “unrelated to sport performance.” Furthermore, the USADA states that if the athlete undergoes a treatment program, which Richardson did, that sanction can but cut down to one month.
Richardson admitted to NBC on Friday that she used marijuana in Oregon, a state in which the substance is legal, after the death of her biological mother. That happened just hours before the Olympic Trials kicked off.
“That sent me in a state of mind, in a state of emotional panic, if anything,” she said. “During all that, I still, even though I’m here, I still have to go out and put on a…