Celebrated American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson — who famously thanked her girlfriend after placing first in the 100-meter women’s sprint event at the Olympic track and field trials last month — will not be on the U.S. 4x100 relay team at the Tokyo Olympics, U.S. Track and Field announced today. The announcement effectively ended Richardson's 2021 Olympic hopes.
Richardson, 21, was disqualified from participating in the 100-meter women's sprint at the upcoming Olympic games because of a positive marijuana test at the June trials. Richardson said marijuana was helping her cope with the pressures of her sport and the recent news she received, from a reporter during an interview, that her biological mother had died.
Because of the test, Richardson received a 30-day suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Since the 30 days expired before the 4x100 relay in Tokyo, there was hope Richardson could compete in that competition. But while expressing sympathy for Richardson, U.S. Track and Field stated today that allowing her to participate, even in the 4X100, would violate its rules and an exception would be unfair to her peers.
"It would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games," USATF's statement read. "All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current anti-doping code, and our credibility as the National Governing Body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances," the organization said in a statement.
"So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha'Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team."