Sha’Carri Richardson, a US sprinter, has broken her silence following the announcement that she tested positive for cannabis, earning her a one-month penalty and banning her from competing in the 100-meter event at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 21-year-old acknowledged on NBC’s Today show that she tested positive for THC, the euphoric ingredient found in cannabis, which she took after learning her mother had died.
She told NBC that a reporter broke the news of her mother’s death to her, throwing her into a “state of panic” in the midst of the pressure to perform on the track.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision,” said Richardson.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed that Richardson had been handed a one-month ban for the violation.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.