Sha'Carri Richardson: 'I Promise I'll be Your World Champ Next Year'

The track star knows the Olympics won't be the same without her.

Track star Sha'Carri Richardson quickly won over a legion of fans last month when she sprinted into first place at the 100-meter competition, securing herself a spot at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The 21-year-old runner's performance made her an early darling of the upcoming Games; her incredible speed (10.86 seconds!) even earned her the moniker of the Fastest Woman in America. After qualifying, she ran straight into her grandmother's arms.

Just a couple weeks later, though, her Olympic future isn't so certain. Here's what you need to know.

Richardson tested positive for a chemical found in Marijuana.

On the morning of Friday, July 2, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Richardson had tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana, and as a result, her results at the trials in Oregon are invalid, despite the fact that marijuana use is legal in that state. The New York Times reports Richardson accepted a one-month suspension from the sport that began on June 28, which means it's still possible for her to participate in the relay event, which will take place later in the Games, on July 30. In individual events the top three finishers from each country compete; with her race invalidated, Richardson is out. But the relay team is composed of both the top finishers and other runners selected at the discretion of the country's governing Track & Field body. U.S.A. Track & Field has not yet come to a decision as to whether or not Richardson will get a spot on the team.

Richardson responded in an interview.

In an interview with Today, Richardson explained she used marijuana to cope with the sudden death of her biological mother, which she found out about from a reporter while she was in Oregon for the trials. Hearing the news was “definitely nerve-shocking,” she said. 

"I know what I did. I know what I'm supposed to do and what I'm allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. But I'm not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case," she also said, per People. "To put on a face, to have to go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain, I don't know ... Who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with 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?" 

She added, "I would like to say to my friends, my family, my sponsorship, to the haters too: I apologize. As much as I'm disappointed, I know that when I step on the track I don't represent myself, I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love."

The day before the suspension was announced, Sha'Carri Richardson tweeted, “I am human.”

Nike is standing by the track star.

Along with many celebrities and athletes, the brand is standing by Richardson, who has been a Nike athlete since 2019. "We appreciate Sha'Carri's honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time," the brand said in a statement on Friday, July 3. 

President Joe Biden shared his thoughts.

"The rules are the rules, and everybody knows what the rules were going in," the President told reporters during a White House press briefing on July 3. "Whether that should remain the rule is a different issue, but the rules are the rules. And I was really proud of her, the way she responded."

Richardson seemingly responded to her critics.

In a series of tweets on July 3, Richardson looked towards her bright future. “Enjoy the games because we all know it won't be the same,” she tweeted, adding, “I'm sorry I can't be y'all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I'll be your World Champ next year.” 

She also seemingly took aim at her critics by retweeting one user who wrote, “People talking about ‘rules are rules’ but half of y'all couldn't even abide by public health guidelines during a pandemic.”

Richardson also tweeted, “All these perfect people that know how to live, I'm glad I'm not one of them!” 

We will update this post when more information becomes available.

This story originally appeared on: Glamour - Author:Condé Nast

Recent Search