American sprinter Sha’carri Richardson could now miss the chance to participate in the fast-approaching Tokyo Games as reports claim the 21 year old has allegedly failed a drug test.
News broke in the early hours of this morning through sports journalist Tyler Dragon of the talented youngster testing positive for cannabis. Richardson, who has been dubbed “the new Flo-Jo”, is facing a 30 day suspension for the discovery.
Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana. https://t.co/abQRiOJkEV
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 2, 2021
Richardson- who is currently the fastest woman in America- will almost certainly be suspended from Team USA and so will be unlikely to compete in the 100m sprint; a race in which she had looked set to challenge for a medal in, given her recent track form. She qualified for the Games in Japan with a 10.86 second clocking at the Olympic Trials in June in the 100m final.
The test which tested positive for Cannabis was carried out at the US Olympic Trials and since January 1st 2021 , the drug has been classified as a “Substance of Abuse” by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and carries a maximum four-year ban.
The sprinting sensation has already been something of a controversial figure after choosing convicted doper Dennis Mitchell as her coach.
Richardson was one of the fancied picks to bring home gold in the 100m sprint, after posting 10.72 seconds in April- one of five legal sub-11 times from the American this season.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) April 12, 2021
It is yet unclear whether the Texan will appeal the decision and she has yet to make a comment on the ordeal, although she did tweet” I am human” on Thursday, which likely alluded to the scandal.
I am human
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
The controversy has gathered much attention online, with many of the opinion that the rulings for testing positive for cannabis as a Performance Enhancing Drug are overly harsh and unwarranted, whilst others feel it gives athletes an edge over fellow competitors in regards to recovery.
Cannabis use has long been linked to top performing athletes worldwide, and often divides parties into two strongly argued sides of the debate. Michael Phelps, the all-time Olympic gold medal record holder had a picture of him using a bong go viral in 2009, in the wake of him winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Games in ‘08. Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, was also known to use cannabis in his earlier days. The use of the drug during testing season is however where the major issues arise however, as seen with the recent Richardson sage ongoing at present.
Should she miss the Games due to the result, it will go down as the latest major Olympic drug scandal and one which will lead to fierce debates.