U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson accepts one-month suspension following anti-doping violation, set to miss 100m in Tokyo

Richardson is set to miss out on her specialist 100m event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games starting this month after her qualifying result at the trials was scrapped due to testing positive for a chemical found in marijuana

Picture by 2020 Getty Images

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday (1 July) that athlete Sha’Carri Richardson had "accepted a one-month suspension... for an anti-doping rule violation for testing positive for a substance of abuse."

USADA revealed Richardson’s sample, which was collected at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials on 19 June, had returned a positive result for a chemical found in marijuana. The anti-doping body said Richardson’s period of ineligibility would be backdated to 28 June, the date of her provisional suspension.

“Richardson’s period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance, and because she completed a counselling program regarding her use of cannabis,” USADA said in a statement Friday.

According to USADA, an athlete will receive a three-month sanction if they test positive for a substance of abuse and its use happened out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance. The sanction could further be reduced to one month should an athlete satisfactorily complete a substance abuse treatment program approved by USADA.

USADA stated that Richardson’s results on 19 June, including her Olympic qualifying results at the Trials, have been scrapped, and she forfeited any medals, points, and prizes.

Richardson’s selection for the Olympic Games would be determined by the USOPC or USA Track & Field eligibility rules.

The 21-year-old Richardson had finished first in the women's 100m sprint final of the U.S. Trials, in the blistering time of 10.86s, which was enough to qualify her for the Games. The American emerged as a medal contender with her performances in 2021. She became the sixth-fastest woman ever when she ran a 10.72 seconds in Florida in April.

The track and field athletics events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics begin on 30th July, with the women's 100m final on 31st July 2021.

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