How Sha’Carri Richardson’s path to the 2021 Olympics came to an end


It is now official. Sha’Carri Richardson will not travel to Tokyo for the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Richardson’s name was missing from the 130-person roster USA Track and Field released on Tuesday. This ended any chance Richardson, 21, had of racing in Tokyo after she tested positive for marijuana at the U.S. trials. Her 30-day suspension would have ended before the start of the relays on Aug. 5, which allowed the possibility she could be part of the team.

That, now, won’t be happening.

In a statement, referring to Richardson stating that she smoked marijuana to cope with the death of her birth mother, USATF said it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” and “fully agrees” that international rules regarding marijuana should be reevaluated.

Here is the timeline of events and how we got here:

June 19: With a winning time of 10.86 in the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials, Richardson qualified for Tokyo in the 100-meter individual race. Doing so at the age of 21 made her the youngest woman to win the event at the trials since Alice Brown in 1980. Richardson becomes an overnight sensation. In an emotional post-run interview with her grandmother and other family members by her side, she reveals that her biological mother recently died.

July 1: It is revealed that Richardson tested positive for marijuana after winning the Olympic trials. Richardson accepted a one-month ban, retroactive to June 28, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Richardson was competing in Oregon, where marijuana is legal for recreational use.

Richardson tweets, “I am human.”

July 2: Richardson apologizes during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. During the trials, she said she was told by a reporter that her mother had died and the news caused her so much pain that, despite knowing the rules about marijuana, she used it to cope with the loss.

“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,” Richardson said. “Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with the pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you haven’t experienced before or that you thought you never would have to deal with?”

Following the announcement, Richardson received an outpouring of support across social media from pro-athletes.

July 6: Richardson is left off the roster meaning she will not compete in the 4×100 relay in Tokyo.





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