Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who was set to star at the Tokyo Olympics this month, could miss the Games after testing positive for marijuana.

Richardson, 21, won the women’s 100 meters at the US track and field trials in Oregon last month, but her positive test automatically invalidated her result in the high-profile event. It is not known whether she will appeal the result of the test and disqualification, or the length of her suspension. It can be as short as a month. The suspension was confirmed by two people with knowledge of the test results who requested anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the situation.

USA Track & Field has informed other women who competed in the 100-meter trials final of the drug test failure, according to a person with direct knowledge of the information, and several runners have been told that they had won a place in the final. ranking.

Jenna Prandini, who placed fourth in practice, has been told she will now be one of three Americans to run the 100-meter race in Tokyo, and Gabby Thomas, who finished fifth in practice, has been named a substitute for the race. , the person mentionned.

It’s possible that a one-month ban for Richardson could begin when he tested positive in trials, allowing him to resume competition just before the Olympics, which begin on July 23. Athletics at the Games not until July 30.

News of the positive test was first reported by The Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper.

Richardson was scheduled to compete in the 200 meters at a Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Sunday, but she was not on the list for the event on Thursday night. She did not comment on the positive test, but early Thursday afternoon she cryptically tweeted: “I am human.”

While Richardson’s suspension may be over by the time the Olympics begin, the positive test has wiped his performance at the Olympic trials from the books. Unlike the Olympic selection processes of some other countries, USA Track & Field procedures leave little room for discretion over who qualifies. They dictate that the top three in a given practice event qualify for the Olympics, provided their performance meets Olympic standard.

It is possible that Richardson could still compete in the 4×100-meter relay even though she is excluded from the individual race. The decision would lie with USA Track & Field, the sport’s national governing body.

Up to six athletes are selected for the country’s relay group, and four of them must be the top three in the 100 meters at the Olympic Trials and as a substitute. The governing body appoints the other two members of the relay pool.

Representatives for USA Track & Field did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nor do officials of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the Athletics Integrity Unit, the independent anti-doping arm of World Athletics, the world’s governing body for athletics. Richardson’s agent Renaldo Nehemiah did not respond to a phone call or text on Thursday.

Marijuana is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances. USADA and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee are both signatories to the AMA code, which means they follow its rules.

The drug is only prohibited during competition periods, which are defined as starting at 11:59 p.m. the day before a competition and ending at its conclusion. Athletes can have up to 150 nanograms per milliliter of THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana, without causing a positive test.

According to USADA, marijuana is a banned substance because it can improve performance, poses a health risk to athletes, and its use violates the spirit of the sport.

A suspension for a positive marijuana test can be up to two years. The minimum duration is one month, if an athlete can prove that marijuana use was unrelated to athletic performance and if the person completes a drug treatment program. Last month, USADA suspended Kahmari Montgomery, a sprinter, for a month after testing positive for marijuana.

Richardson’s positive test came about a week before the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee was due to submit the names of its athletes competing in Tokyo. And Richardson was not only supposed to be one of them, but also one of the most recognizable Olympians, at least by the end of the Games.

She dominated the opening weekend of Trials, drawing attention to her scintillating performances, her long orange hair (“to make sure I’m visible and seen,” she said) and a moment moving when she sprinted into the stands to hug her grandmother.

Her 10.86-second victory made her an instant favorite to win gold in Tokyo and set up a much-anticipated Olympics showdown with Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 at the last world championships. Richardson ran the second fastest 100 this year, behind Fraser-Pryce, and in April ran the sixth fastest time ever.

After qualifying for the Olympic team, she told NBC that a week before the trials she learned that her birth mother had passed away.

“You all see me on this track, and you all see the poker face I put on, but no one but them and my coach knows what I go through on a daily basis,” she said of the comment. from his family. .

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