Twitter blows up over sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson suspension for cannabis

Some people are pretty ticked off that one of the fastest women in the world may not compete in the 100-metre race at the Olympics.

Sprinter Richardson Sha'Carri

Superstar 21-year-old sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson gave an exclusive interview to USA Today about her positive test for a banned substance—THC. USA Today screen shot.

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U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has blown away her competitors on the track. However, she could face a bigger obstacle in her pursuit of Olympic gold: sports bureaucrats.

That’s because she has tested positive for cannabis, which was first broken by Reuters. This followed her victory in the U.S. Olympic trials last month.

Richardson posted a time of 10.86 seconds in the 100-metre final, leaving her opponents in the dust.

As a result of the test, the sprinter has received a one-month suspension. That likely prevents her from competing in the women’s 100-metre race in the Tokyo Games, which begin on July 23.

“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson told USA Today an in exclusive interview. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do.”

Watch Sha’Carri Richardson’s interview with USA Today.

However, she will be able to compete in the women’s 4 X 100-relay, which is held later in the competition.

In a statement, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stated that Richardson “accepted” this penalty for “testing positive for a substance of abuse”.

It was for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is an extract of the cannabis plant. The USADA normally imposes a three-month suspension for THC, but it can be reduced to one month if the athlete completes an approved substance-of-abuse treatment program.

“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,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said.

Watch Sha’Carri Richardson win the U.S. Olympics trial in the women’s 100-metre final.

Nike sticks with sprinter

Richardson’s corporate sponsor, Nike, has issued a statement standing by her. But some of the most vehement voices of support for the sprinter have come over social media.

“Ridiculous,” tweeted Curaleaf Holdings founder Joseph Lusardi. “Let her run!!!”

Pro football quarterback Patrick Mahomes II also spoke out over Twitter on behalf of the sprinter. The 25-year-old pivot for the Kansas City Chiefs simply declared: “This is so trash man… just let her run!”

And this from actor, director and writer Seth Rogen…

Below, you can read other comments being posted over Twitter.

Charlie Smith

I'm the editor of the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver, as well as a CannCentral contributor.

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