Sha'Carri Richardson Places Ninth In First Race Since Suspension Over Drug Test

2021-08-21 15:58:46

Sha’Carri Richardson finished ninth in her first race since a 30-day suspension over a failed drug test, which kept her from competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson said she wasn’t upset “at all” after the 100-meter race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

“Count me out if you want to, talk all the shit you want, because I’m here to stay. I’m not done,” she said after the race.

She congratulated the winners, including Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the Olympic gold earlier this summer and who placed first on Saturday.

Richardson ran against all three 100-meter Tokyo Olympic medalists: Thompson-Herah, silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and bronze medalist Shericka Jackson, all of whom are from Jamaica. Richardson congratulated all three after their performance in the Games earlier this month, praising “powerful, strong black women dominating the sport” in a tweet.

Richardson was widely seen as an Olympic favorite ahead of the Tokyo Games, winning the 100-meter final at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials in Eugene in June. On July 1, it was reported that Richardson had failed a drug test at the trials, testing positive for marijuana. (The drug is legal for recreational use in Oregon, where she was when she used it.)

Sha’Carri Richardson after winning the Women’s 100-meter final during the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

She accepted a 30-day suspension and apologized, telling NBC’s Savannah Guthrie she used the drug after a reporter confronted her with news of her biological mother’s death.

“I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, what I’m allowed not to do. And I still made that decision,” Richardson said.

Though the timing of her suspension made it possible for Richardson to run as part of the U.S.’s 4×100-meter relay team, U.S. Track and Field denied her a spot on the roster, saying in a statement that it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances and strongly applaud her accountability ― and will offer her our continued support both on and off the track.”

The Orange County Register reported Richardson has been training in Florida since her suspension.

“Training has been going well, regardless of the situation,” Richardson told reporters Friday. “My talent has not gone anywhere. So just ready to get back on the track.”

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