Sha’Carri Richardson gets overwhelming support from athletes following suspension

Richardson received a one-month suspension after testing positive for THC.

Sha'Carri Richardson won't be able to run the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. AP Photo/Ashley Landis

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson got a lot of support after she received a one-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana.

Richardson, a  21-year-old sprinter who won the 100-meter dash at the Olympic trials, began her suspension on June 28, making her ineligible to run the 100-meter dash during the Olympics.

In an interview on the “Today” show Friday, Richardson shared she used marijuana as a way to cope following her mother’s death in June. The Olympic trials were held in Oregon, where marijuana is legal for recreational use and where Richardson took the drug test she failed. However, the “WADA Prohibited List identifies marijuana and cannabinoids as substances that are prohibited in-competition,” the USADA mentions under its marijuana policy.


Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was one of many star athletes to tweet in support of Richardson.

“This is so trash man… just let her run!” Mahomes wrote.

Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson not only supported Richardson, but questioned the rule in place.

“I don’t know why marijuana is banned. Maybe a good reason. Maybe not,” Johnson wrote in a tweet. “I know how it feels to lose a parent. Indescribable pain! I’m from the same neighborhood as [Richardson]. Tough place! I wish people would stop calling her and this ban stupid unless you know the reason for both.

Ex-NBA star turned broadcaster Dwyane Wade also stepped up in support of Richardson, calling out Team USA in the process.

“But majority of y’all rule makers smoke and probably are investors in THC companies. Let’s stop playing these games,” Wade wrote in a tweet.

Former NBA star Jamal Crawford weighed in on Twitter, writing: “Weed is NOT performance enhancing..”

Fellow American Olympians Damian Lillard and Kevin Love, who will both play for the American men’s basketball team, each criticized the suspension. Lillard called it “bulls—” while Love wrote “This s— makes me sick and is wrong on so many levels.”

Nike, who Richardson has an endorsement deal with, stood behind Richardson.


“We appreciate Sha’Carri’s honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time,” Nike said in a statement.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Richardson an “inspiring women” Friday, but didn’t say if President Joe Biden would overturn her suspension.

“This was an independent decision made by the U. S. Anti-Doping Agency and not a decision that would be made by the U.S. government, as is appropriate, and we will certainly leave them the space and room to make their decisions about anti-doping policies that need to be implemented,” Psaki said.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart expressed some empathy for Richardson and showed her some appreciation for accepting the suspension.

“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,” Tygart said in a statement.


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