Sha’Carri Richardson competes for the first time since suspension

SAN ANTONIO– Track star Sha’Carri Richardson competed for the first time since her one-month suspension and disqualification at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Richardson is an American track and field sprinter who came to fame as a first-year student at Louisiana State University.

Richardson is well known for her record-breaking 100-meter sprint at the 2019 National Colligate Athletic Association Championship. After winning the women’s 100-meter final at the 2020 track and field Olympic trials, audiences around the world anticipated the matchup between Richardson and opponent Elaine Thompson a Jamaican sprinter.

After solidifying her spot-on America’s team, the United States Anti-doping Agency announced a positive drug test. Testing positive for marijuana, Richardson was declared disqualified and suspended for a 30-day period, losing her chancemto run in the Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson’s 30-day suspension started June 28 and ended July 27. During an interview with The Today Show, Richardson apologized to her fans explaining that her biological mother had passed away days before the women’s
100-meter final. In a time of desperation, she turned to marijuana to help her cope.

Sha’Carri Richardson appeared on the Today show after being hit with a one-month ban and apologized for failing drugs test.
Photo credit: Today

“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by sadness, and hurting and hiding hurt,” Richardson said. “I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”

Determined to come back to the sport, Richardson appeared at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, Aug. 21. Richardson’s first race back was against three Jamaican Olympic gold medalists, Elaine Thompson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson.

“I was glad to finally see her run,” said Makhayla Parker, junior on the Our Lady of the Lake University women’s track and field team. “I think Sha’Carri did so good; with how young she is, she has time to improve herself and get faster.”

Richardson finished last among a field of nine runners. Her ninth-place time was 11.14 seconds, .5 seconds off from her time Olympic trial time, 10.64 seconds. With Richardson not too far behind, first-place opponent Elaine Thompson, the Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica, clocked her time at 10.54 seconds. Shortly after the women’s 100-meter race, Richardson decided to pull out the 200-meter race at the Prefontaine Classic.

Sha’Carri Richardson (center) finished last in the 100-meter event at Saturday’s. Prefontaine Classic. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Hera (left) was the victor. Photo credit AP

“I wanted to be able to come and perform after having a month off,” Richardson said in an NBC interview
on Saturday after her race. “I’m not upset at myself at all. This is one race; I’m not
done yet; you know what I’m capable of.”

Richardson seemed unfazed after her race that Saturday. Despite placing last, she gave a statement saying she is “here to stay,” reassuring her fans that they will see a lot more of the 21-year-old track star.

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