A trip to the Tokyo Olympics for United States sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is suddenly in doubt after reportedly failing a drug test.
According to Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Richardson faces a 30-day suspension after testing positive for marijuana. She qualified for the 2020 games in the 100-meter dash after running a 10.86 final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in late June.
The 21-year-old from Dallas, Texas previously ran the sixth-fastest time in the history of the 100-meter, setting a personal best of 10.72 last April.
Andre Lowe of Jamaica Gleaner reported “traces of the substance” were found in Richardson’s sample collected at the Olympic Trials, yet that doesn’t mean an automatic suspension is looming.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list includes all natural and synthetic cannabinoids—with the exception of cannabidiol—but specifies those are banned during competition. As Lowe noted, if an athlete can prove they did not use the substance during the trials, they may only be looking at a three-month ban, which could also be reduced if the athlete submits to an approved treatment program.
Should Richardson have her spot on the Olympic team revoked, Jenna Prandini—who placed fourth in the 100-meter—will serve as a replacement.
The decision ultimately rests with the United States Anti-Doping Agency, per USTAF guidelines:
“USADA handles all aspects of the disciplinary process if a sample tests positive either domestically or internationally. If the positive sample was given in a domestic competition sanctioned by USATF, USADA will notify the athlete of the test result. If the positive sample was given in an IAAF-sanctioned competition, the IAAF will notify USATF, and USATF will notify the athlete and inform USADA, which will handle the remainder of the process.”
It’s unclear when an official announcement could come from the USTAF or what the full timeline for any potential discipline would look like.
Source – The Bleacher Report