American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson apologized live on national television after testing positive for marijuana. She has been suspended from the sport for 30 days.
The suspension means Richardson might not be cleared to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.
“I apologize. As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on the track, I represent not only myself, I represent a community that has shown great support, great love … I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time,” Richardson said on NBC’s “Today” show. “
After qualifying for the Olympic team, Richardson, who was raised by her grandmother, told reporters that she had just found that her biological mother had passed away.
This morning, she says marijuana helped her cope with the sad news.
“We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain,” Richardson said. “Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with a pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you’ve never experienced before or that you never thought you’d have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you’re wrong for hurting?”
But all may not be lost. A 30-day ban could leave Richardson free to race in the 4×100-meter relay at the Olympics on Aug. 6, if she is chosen by USATF. This is only if the ban is backdated to the time of the adverse result.