Sha’Carri Richardson is returning to the running tracks during Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, becoming her first major race since September 2021 and her second race of 2022.
On May 28, Richardson will be racing against Jamaica’s fastest runners, Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah and bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.
Last summer, the athlete began making headlines for her jaw-dropping performance on the field. The 22-years-old Dallas native won in the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials; however, she didn’t make it to the main event after testing positive for a psychoactive drug.
“Richardson’s competitive results obtained on June 19, 2021, including her Olympic qualifying results at the Team Trials, have been disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes,” a statement from the USADA said.
The use of THC receives a three-month suspension if the athlete confirms that “their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance.” Luckily, Richardson “successfully completed a counseling program regarding her use of cannabis;” therefore, her ineligibility is just for one month.
“Right now, I’m just putting all of my energy into dealing with what I need to deal with to heal myself,” Richardson said on NBC’s Today show. “I want to take responsibility for my actions,” she added. “I’m not looking for an excuse. I would like to say to my fans and my family and my sponsorship, to the haters, too, I apologize.”
“As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on that track, I don’t represent myself; I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love,” she added.
“This will be the last time the Olympics don’t see Sha’Carri Richardson, and this will be the last time the U.S. doesn’t come home with a gold medal in the 100,” Richardson said. ”This is just one game. I’m 21. I’m very young,” she said. ”I have plenty of games left in me to compete in, and I have plenty of talent that backs me up. After my sanction is up, I’ll be back and ready to compete. This will never happen again.”
During her first competition of the year on May 21, Sha’Carri ran the 100 at the Duval County Challenge, finishing in fourth place with a time of 11.37. Her personal best is 10.72.
“You know what I’m capable of,” she said after that race. “Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s—you want. ‘Cause I’m here to stay. I’m not done,” she said last August after finishing in last place with a time of 11.14 at the Prefontaine Classic.