“Cannabis test” drops the fastest American sprinter
American sprinter Shaqiri Richardson has failed a cannabis test and may miss the Tokyo Olympics, which start this month. Reuters reported that the sample came back positive during the US heats last month, when Richardson won the 100-meter race with a time of 10.86 seconds. And if a positive sample came out during heats, it would mean that Richardson’s results will be nullified and she will be disqualified from winning the 100 metres. A source familiar with the matter added that Gina Brandini, who finished fourth in the qualifiers, had been contacted to join the US team in Tokyo. Richardson wrote on her Twitter account Thursday: “I am a human being.” The American network, “NBC”, confirmed that the 21-year-old American runner will appear on the “Today Show”, Friday. Richardson was supposed to run the 200 meters at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on Sunday, but her name was removed from the race at the championship site. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibits cannabis use, but if athletes prove that their use of the substance is unrelated to athletic performance, they will be suspended for three months instead of the usual four-year ban. If the athlete is willing to undergo an approved treatment program in cooperation with the National Anti-Doping Authority, the suspension can be reduced to one month. Richardson had hoped she would be the first American to win the 100 meters at the Olympics since Jill Devers in 1996, with a 10.72sec in April, one of five races she has done under 11sec this season. If only a one-month suspension from the date of the sample is given, Richardson will be ready to compete in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics on August 6 if she is selected to participate in the championships by the US Federation. Richardson can appeal any sentence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is the same for any sports body if it feels the punishment was too lenient.