By Emily Ledger
Sha’Carri Richardson has become something of an athletics icon in the US in recent years, as her sprinting ability made her the fastest woman in America. However, according to reports, Richardson is facing a ban that would see her miss the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for cannabis.
Richardson reportedly failed the drug test during the Olympics trials, putting her place on Team USA in serious jeopardy. If the result is confirmed, then the 21-year-old – who has often be compared to the late Olympic superstar Florence ‘Flo-Jo’ Joyner – will likely be replaced by Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth in the 100-metre sprint that Richardson had won.
Although Richardson is yet to offer an official response, the sprinting sensation posted on Twitter just hours before the story broke, simply stating. “I am human”.
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
Prior to the results of the drug test, Richardson qualified for the US Olympic team with a 100-metre sprint time of 10.86 seconds – a time that has now been provisionally disqualified. However, it remains unclear when the athlete took the drugs test.
Cannabis is still a banned substance in most sports, despite the ongoing easing of cannabis prohibition and a lack of evidence that it is a performance-enhancing drug. The drug was classified as a “substance of abuse” by the World Anti-Doping Agency since January this year.
A failed drugs test usually carries a ban of up to four years, however, this may be reduced to 3 months if the athlete in question is able to prove that the drugs consumed did not enhance their performance in their sport.
While this is likely to be an option for Sha’Carri Richardson, a reduced ban would still see her miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that is set to kick off on the 27th July after being delayed for a year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.