Sha'Carri Richardson suspension draws bewilderment: 'What are we doing here?'

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Sha’Carri Richardson missing out on an Olympic event due to a positive marijuana drug test drew some fierce reaction across the sports world Thursday night.

Reports trickled out that Richardson tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana at the Olympic track and field trials last month, which is against U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rules. She received a one-month suspension on Friday and will be unable to compete in the 100-meter race in Tokyo.

Richardson ingested marijuana in Oregon, where recreational weed is legal. Many questioned why she was suspended.

Richardson appeared on “TODAY” and apologized, saying he wasn’t looking for empathy. She explained that the loss of her mother before the trials upset her.

“…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 positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship I had with my mother so that definitely was a very heavy topic on me and people don’t understand what it’s like to have to … or people do and we all have our different struggles and we all have our different things we deal with,” Richardson said. 

“But to put on a face and to have to go on 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 a pain or you’re dealing with a struggle you never experienced before or that you never thought you would have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you that you’re wrong for hurting?”

She continued: “Leading up to that, dealing with my mental health dealing with mental health leading up to the Games, every time stepping onto the track expecting to be a record-breaking time or something like that. Just with that pressure in itself was just a whole ‘nother thing which actually was the first full professional career, my first full professional circuit this year due to the pandemic.”

Richardson said she learned from a reporter that her mother had died. She said learning that sent her into a state of “emotional panic” but still wanted to go out and perform.

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