Texas [USA], July 4 (ANI): After missing out on the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she tested positive for the consumption of cannabis, Ace American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson has assured that she will be the world champion next year.
On Friday, Richardson accepted a one-month suspension -- as permitted under the applicable international rules -- for an anti-doping rule violation for testing positive for a substance of abuse, as per the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
"I am sorry, I cannot be y'all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I will be your World Champ next year," Sha'Carri tweeted.
Richardson, 21, won the women's 100-meter race at the US track and field trials in Oregon last month, but her positive test automatically invalidated her result in that marquee event.
Sha'Carri also thanked her community for rallying behind her during this tough time. "The support my community I thank y'all, the negative forget y'all and enjoy the games because we all know it will not be the same," she tweeted.
"All these perfect people that know how to live life, I am glad I am not one of them," she wrote in another cryptic tweet.
Richardson was expected to challenge for the 100m gold medal at the Games, after posting 10.72 seconds in April -- one of five legal sub-11 seconds clocking from the American this season.
Richardson tested positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC), a urinary metabolite of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, marijuana, and hashish, above the urinary Decision Limit of 180 ng/mL, as the result of a sample collected in competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 19, 2021. Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids and are prohibited in competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which, as required, have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency, Prohibited List.
The 2021 World Anti-Doping Code newly classifies THC as a "substance of abuse" because it is frequently used in society outside the context of sport. If an athlete who tests positive for a substance of abuse establishes that their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance, the athlete will receive a three-month sanction. However, if the athlete satisfactorily completes a substance of abuse treatment program approved by USADA, the sanction may be further reduced to one month.
In this case, Richardson accepted a one-month period of ineligibility that began on June 28, 2021, the date of her provisional suspension. Richardson's period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance and because she successfully completed a counseling program regarding her use of cannabis. Her one-month period of ineligibility -- the minimum allowed under the rules -- is the same result as the two other Substance of Abuse cases that USADA has handled since the 2021 Code took effect.
The track and field athletics events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics begin on July 30, with the women's 100m final on July 31. (ANI)