Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension after failing a drug test for cannabis use, and the news that she is being benched for at least part of the Tokyo Olympics is not sitting well with fans.
Original reports on Richardson’s drug tests speculated if she used steroids, but Enquirer sports reporter Tyler Dragon noted Thursday evening that it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug that Richardson was caught using — just weed.
“Sha’Carri Richardson did not use steroids, according to a source. Richardson is facing a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana,” Dragon reported. He noted that Richardson will likely have to miss her 100 meter race but could still compete in the 4×100 relay.
Richardson is the defending 100 meter champion and typically dominates in that race. She destroyed the competition in the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this month, just days after her mother died.
Richardson, age 21, told the Washington Post at the time her mother’s death is “still a very, very, very sensitive and confusing topic to me” and added, “I definitely pay her respect every time I step on the track.”
News that Richardson was suspended for pot use prompted a larger conversation online over cannabis legalization. Many people weighed in and said they thought that pot (which is federally illegal and inexplicably classified as a Schedule 1 drug, on par with heroin according to the government) should be legalized across the country. Even so, though, the main reason Richardson is in trouble is because of the World Anti-Doping Agency and Olympic Committee’s policies on drug use and conduct, which is a separate matter.
Actress Patricia Arquette weighed in, and said, “this is ridiculous. What are they thinking?”
The incident also reminded some people of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ six-month suspension in 2014 after he was caught smoking a bong and arrested for drunk driving.
Richardson herself addressed the suspension in a brief tweet Thursday that simply read, “I am human.” Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. replied and said, “This is bull Shxt……tbh.”
Check out some more reactions to Richardson’s suspension below.