Sha’Carri Richardson Misses Final Chance To Make Tokyo Olympics
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has lost out on her final chance to take part in the Tokyo Olympics following an announcement by track officials.
The athlete won her last 100m race in 10.86 seconds, making her the fastest American woman, though just days later she pulled out of the 200-meter qualification race. When her positive drug test was revealed, she was hit with a 30-day suspension.
The athlete could have still made an appearance at the games if she had been selected for the women’s 4×100-metre relay race, which US women are favoured to win, however, track officials announced this week that she had not made the cut.
The relay race is set to take place after her suspension ends, meaning she could have been named for the team, but officials confirmed on Tuesday, July 6, that coaches had selected the members of the relay squad and informed the successful athletes before the results of the marijuana test were made public, The New York Times reports.
Those taking part in track and field events must finish in the top three in the trials and have met the Olympic standards to qualify for the US team, though when it comes to the relay, officials are able to pick at least two athletes regardless of their performance at the trials.
As a result of Richardson’s disqualification, the coaches chose the next six fastest runners in the 100-metre race and felt it would be unfair to remove one of them from the team simply to allow Richardson to take part.
USA Track and Field showed its support for Richardson in a statement in which it called for a re-evaluation of the rules regarding marijuana, though it made clear it was standing by its selection.
The statement read:
All U.S.A.T.F. athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current antidoping code, and our credibility as the national governing body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances.
So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team.
Richardson’s agent, Renaldo Nehemiah, said the sprinter is devastated not to be going to Tokyo, but that she has now turned her attention to competitions after the Olympics.
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