U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson may be barred from competing in the 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics after reportedly failing a drug test.
According to a report Thursday by the Jamaican Gleaner, Richardson’s performance at last month’s U.S, Olympic trials was “disqualified” after she tested positive for a trace amount of a “substance of abuse,” as classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the substance was marijuana and that Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension from competition.
Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana. https://t.co/abQRiOJkEV
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 2, 2021
Sources told Reuters and The New York Times (subscription required) later Thursday that Richardson tested positive for cannabis/marijuana.
Sources also told the Times that Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth in the 100-meter final at the trials, will replace Richardson’s in the 100 in Tokyo and fifth-place finisher Gabby Thomas will be an alternate.
Dragon reported that Richardson could still compete in Tokyo in the women’s 4×100 relay. The women’s 100-meter final is scheduled for July 31 but the 4×100 final is set for Aug. 6.
Reports of a possible disqualification came as Reuters reported earlier Thursday that Richardson would not compete in the Diamond League on Sunday in Stockholm. She was scheduled to run in the 200 meters, according to the report.
The Jamaican Gleaner and Reuters requested comment from Richardson’s side but did not receive a response. USA Track and Field, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have yet to comment. USADA adheres to WADA guidelines regarding marijuana and cannabinoids, Sportico reported.
Richardson is scheduled to appear Friday morning on NBC’s “Today,” Reuters and Sportico reported. The NBC family of networks is broadcasting the Tokyo Games. Earlier on Thursday, Richardson sent out this ambiguous tweet:
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
MORE: USA Olympic track and field trials results from every event
Richardson drew widespread attention when she pointed to her time of 10.86 seconds as she crossed the finish line first in the U.S. track and field trials.
Sha’Carri Richardson (10.86 seconds) closes late to capture the women’s 100-meter final at the U.S. track and field trials. pic.twitter.com/SPQPpan6iz
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 20, 2021
Athletes can be suspended for up to two years under WADA’s anti-doping code for testing positive for marijuana. According to a November 2020 USADA advisory to athletes, the minimum suspension is 30 days if an athlete “can establish that the use of a substance of abuse was out-of-competition and unrelated to sport performance” and “if the athlete successfully completes a substance abuse program that is approved by USADA.”
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