American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who won the women’s 100-meter race at the U.S. trials last month, has tested positive for marijuana, the United States Anti-Doping Agency and USA Track and Field announced on Friday, with the gold medal contender suspended from the U.S. Olympic team for one month from June 28.
According to Reuters, Richardson’s sample tested positive at the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon last month, where she won the Women’s 100-meter race with a time of 10.86 seconds.
Richardson appeared to acknowledge the test it in a cryptic tweet that read: “I am human,” before appearing on NBC’s Today show on Friday morning and saying: “I just want to take responsibility for my actions.”
USA Track & Field has informed others who competed in the trials about Richardson’s failed drug test, and everyone has been moved up a spot in the final standings, the New York Times reported.
Richardson’s suspension means Jenna Prandini, who placed fourth at the trials, will now be one of the three American women participating in the 100 meters race, the Times report added.
The use of marijuana is banned in competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which means between 11:59 pm on the day before the competition and its conclusion.
USADA, which is a WADA signatory, considers marijuana both a performance-enhancing substance and a drug of abuse.
The 21-year-old’s suspension is a major blow to the U.S. Track team as Richardson was considered a genuine gold medal contender and was expected to be one of the breakout stars of the Tokyo games. An American woman has not won the 100-meter gold at the Olympics since Gail Devers’ victory in the Atlanta 1996 games. Richardson had put up a dominant show at Olympic qualifiers last month, blowing away her competition with a 10.64 seconds time in the semis and 10.86 seconds in the finals. Her semi-final performance put her just 0.01 seconds behind “the fastest woman alive,” and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
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Richardson may be cleared to compete in the Women’s 4X100-meter relay competition if she is selected by the USATF. Regardless of her ban’s end date, Richardson will not be able to participate in the 100m sprint as her qualifying performance would have been wiped off the books.