KSL OLYMPICS

No Relay: Banned Sprinter Richardson Left Off Olympic Team

Jul 6, 2021, 4:51 PM
Sha'Carri Richardson...
Sha'Carri Richardson runs in the Women's 100 Meter semifinal on day 2 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(AP) – Banned sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was not on the Olympic roster released Tuesday by USA Track and Field, a decision that means the American champion’s positive test for marijuana will cost her a chance at running on the relay team in Tokyo, in addition to her spot in the 100-meter individual race.

Richardson’s positive test nullified her win at Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, last month and the spot that went with it in Tokyo in the 100. Her 30-day suspension will end before the start of the relays on Aug. 5, which left open the possibility she could win a medal as part of the 4×100 relay team.

But her name was missing from the roster USATF sent out. The federation had two discretionary picks beyond the top four finishers in the 100-meter final at trials but chose not to offer a spot to the 21-year-old sprinter, who was expected to challenge for Olympic gold.

Asked about how Richardson was taking the news, her agent, Renaldo Nehemiah, responded: “We haven’t spoken about it at all. It was actually not a topic we focused on.”

In a statement, USATF said it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” and “fully agrees” that international rules regarding marijuana should be reevaluated.

“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,” the statement read.

In this case, that meant offering the remaining relay spots to the sixth- and seventh-place finishers, each of whom moved up in the pecking order after Richardson’s DQ. They are English Gardner and Aliea Hobbs.

Richardson tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana after her victory on June 19. She said the stress of her biological mother’s recent death combined with the pressure of preparing for trials led her to use the drug.

“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”

Over the weekend, she sent out a pair of tweets: “All these perfect people that know how to live life, I’m glad I’m not one of them!” and “2022-2025 undefeated!”

Shortly after the 2012 Olympics, international regulators loosened restrictions on marijuana use, increasing the threshold for a positive test to a level designed to catch athletes only who were using it in the immediate hours before competition. Potential bans were reduced from two years to as little as the 30-day suspension that Richardson is serving.

But where some professional leagues, such as the NFL, NHL and NBA, have greatly reduced enforcement of marijuana rules, with the acknowledgement that the drug does not enhance performance, the Olympic world continues to test for and punish use in some circumstances. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in addition to substances that trigger performance enhancement, the banned list can includes drugs that can pose health risks to athletes or violate the “spirit of sport.”

It’s a stance that has triggered a wide-ranging debate, largely in the realm of social media but also in Washington. Last week, President Joe Biden said that while he was proud of the way Richardson handled her ban, “the rules are the rules.”

“Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules,” Biden said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted out a letter she and Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland sent to the leaders of both the U.S. and world anti-doping agencies urging them to overturn the decision.

“Please strike a blow for civil liberties and civil rights by reversing this course you are on,” the letter said.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics

KSL Olympics

A 2002 Winter Olympic sign sits outside Rice Eccles Stadium before the start of an college football...
EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

Winter Olympics Focus On Climate Change, Rotating Hosts

To hear the world's Olympic leaders tell it, the bidding for future Winter Games has been jumbled by internal disputes.
2 months ago
Salt-Lake-City-2002-Winter-Olympics-Logo...
Eddie Pells, AP

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Bid More Likely For 2034

Recent meetings with the IOC have led U.S. officials to believe all signs point toward Salt Lake City bidding for the 2034 Winter Olympics.
8 months ago
Nordic-Combined-2022-Winter-Olympics...
Larry Lage, AP

Winter Olympics May Not Include Nordic Combined For 1st Time

The IOC is due to make a decision later this month about whether to allow women to compete in Nordic combined at the 2026 Games.
8 months ago
Salt-Lake-City-2002-Winter-Olympics-Logo...
Stephen Wade, AP

Chinese Olympian Eileen Gu Working For Salt Lake Games Bid

Eileen Gu, who won two gold medals for China at the Beijing Olympics, has signed on to work for Salt Lake City's bid for the Winter Olympics.
8 months ago
Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold - Norway...
Associated Press

Russian Olympic Body Challenges Ban From Winter Sports Event

The Russian Olympic Committee has made an urgent appeal to overturn a ban on its athletes competing at a European winter sports festival in Finland.
11 months ago
...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

2008, 2022 Olympic Games In Beijing See Many Differences

KSL's Alex Cabrero was one of the few NBC affiliate reporters who traveled to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics. He was also there for KSL, reporting on the 2008 Summer Olympics, and says the lasting legacy of 2022 will be very different.
12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
No Relay: Banned Sprinter Richardson Left Off Olympic Team