United State of America’s newfound sprint freak – Sha’ Carri Richardson has left lovers of athletics befuddled having been tested positive for cannabis, according to multiple reports at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials where she coasted 10.86 seconds to win the 100m race.
The World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] considers cannabis a “substance of abuse.” All cannabis-based products except for cannabidiol, or CBD, are on WADA’s 2021 Prohibited List and banned “in-competition.” The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and USA Track and Field adhere to WADA’s code.
The maximum punishment for a positive test is a years-long suspension. According to USADA, “if an athlete … establishes that their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, the athlete will receive a three-month sanction. If the athlete satisfactorily completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by USADA, the sanction may be further reduced to one month.”
A one-month suspension, if backdated to the day of the positive test, would see Richardson reinstated in time for the women’s 100-meter heats in Tokyo on July 30. But she’d be retroactively disqualified from U.S. trials, and therefore unable to compete at the Olympics.
Richardson would be disqualified should she be found to be liable and she’ll be replaced with Jenna Prandini who finished fourth in the trials.
The news was received worldwide acceptance when her name suddenly disappeared from the entry list for the upcoming Diamond League meet in Stockholm, where she was scheduled to compete.
The 21-year-old was a serious contender for gold in the women’s 100m alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shericka Jackson, and Dina Asher-Smith.