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American News Jul 7, 2021 3:39 AM EST

Sha'Carri Richardson will not compete in Tokyo Olympic Games

The US Olympic Track and Field Team decided not to include Richardson on the relay team after testing positive last week for THC, which is a prohibited substance.

Sha'Carri Richardson will not compete in Tokyo Olympic Games
Katie Daviscourt Seattle, WA

Sha'Carri Richardson will not be competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after the US Olympic Track and Field Team decided not to include Richardson, the fastest US female athlete, on the relay team after testing positive last week for THC, which is a prohibited substance.

After winning the women's 100m race at the US Olympic track and field trials in June with a time of 10.86 seconds, the 21-year-old looked all set to go to Tokyo. Those hopes were dashed, however, when it was revealed that she had tested positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, which is a prohibited substance.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency's statement reads: "Richardson's competitive results obtained on June 19, 2021, including her Olympic qualifying results at the Team Trials, have been disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes. Beyond the one-month sanction, athlete eligibility for the Tokyo Games is determined by the USOPC and/or USA Track & Field eligibility rules."

The USADA added that "Richardson's period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, and because she successfully completed a counselling program regarding her use of cannabis."

Both the USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency said that cannabis is banned because it "poses a health risk to athletes, has the potential to enhance performance and violates the spirit of sport."

However, in order to compete on the world stage for Track and Field Team an athlete must meet the Olympic standard and finish in the top three at trials. Richardson's last hope to compete in the upcoming Olympics was to be placed on a relay team but the organization decided not to select her to compete. The Olympic relay is scheduled to take place after Richardson's suspension ends.

USA Track and Field released a statement on Tuesday which sympathized with Richardson but stated allowing her to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics would be unfair as the organization must hold each athlete to the same standard. Although, the organization said they will re-evaluate their antidoping rules on marijuana use.

"All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current antidoping code, and our credibility as the national governing body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances," the organization said. "So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha'Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the US Olympic Track & Field Team."

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games are set to kick-off on Friday, July 23rd.

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