Olympic runner Sha’Carri Richardson is taking “responsibility” for her actions in the wake of her one-month suspension due to a positive marijuana test.
The U.S. track star and Olympic hopeful spoke wit the TODAY Show on Friday, to let the world know her thoughts after being informed that she would miss the 100 meter race after testing positive for THC, the chemical found in marijuana.
Richardson accepted a one-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Friday.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson told Savannah Guthrie of TODAY. “I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do … and I still made that decision.”
“Don’t judge me, because I am human… I just happen to run a little faster.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2021
(I’m) not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but, however, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me … that definitely was a very heavy topic on me.
People don’t understand what it’s like to have to … go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain. Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with the pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you haven’t experienced before or that you thought you never would have to deal with?
Richardson called the death of her mother a “triggering” event that resulted in her having an “emotional state of panic.”
On the possibility of competing in Olympic races other than the 100m, Richardson is certainly open to that. However, for now, she’s focusing on herself.
“Right now, I’m just putting all of my time and energy into dealing with what I need to do, which is heal myself,” she said. “So if I’m allowed to receive that blessing, then I’m grateful for it, but if not, right now I’m going to just focus on myself.”
“Richardson, 21, was poised to be a favorite in Tokyo after winning the women’s 100-meter race last month at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with a time of 10.86 seconds,” NBC reported.
USA Track and Field called the USADA’s suspension “devastating.”
“Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved,” the organization wrote in a statement. “Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF’s most critical priorities and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future.”
Richardson stressed the regret and sorrow she feels toward her supporters due to her suspension.
“I apologize,” she said. “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, and I failed you all. So I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions.
“I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”