American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympics hand in the balance after she tested positive for marijuana at the United States Olympic athletics trials.
UK Guardian reports that the Texan’s chances of challenging for the Olympic 100m title in Tokyo later this month remain slim due to the outcome of the test result.
A source familiar with the matter revealed that the positive test came at the US Olympic trials last month where Richardson established herself as a gold medal contender by winning the 100m in 10.86sec, however, a positive test during the trials would mean all of Richardson’s results from the meet would be wiped out, voiding her victory in the 100m final.
Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth in the final, had already been approached to run for the US in the 100m in Tokyo, according to another source familiar with the matter, who like the previous source requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Speaking on US Olympic telecaster NBC’s “Today” show, 21-year-old Richardson said she took marijuana to cope with “a state of emotional pain” after learning of the death of her biological mother from a reporter at the US Olympic trials last month in Eugene, Oregon.
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced moments after she apologized to fans for her violation that Richardson has accepted a one-month ban from June 28 for her marijuana positive.
Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) but if athletes can prove that their ingestion of the substance was unrelated to sports performance then a suspension of three months rather than the usual four years is imposed.
If an athlete is willing to undertake an approved treatment program in collaboration with their national anti-doping body then the ban can be reduced to one month.
Richardson could however be cleared to race in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics on 6 August, if selected by USATF, the report revealed adding that she could also appeal any sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as could any other sports body who felt a punishment was too lenient.
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