Banned American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is set to run both the 100 and 200 metres in the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic, following the end of her suspension on 28th July.
The 21-year-old rose to fame back in 2019 –– winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships with a record-breaking 100 metres time of 10.75 seconds.
Back in April, the Texas-born star ran a new personal best of 10.72 seconds, making her the sixth-fastest woman of all time and the fourth-fastest American in history.
This performance among others made Richardson a favourite for the 100 metres ahead of Tokyo this year, but a positive drug test earlier this month saw her banned from competing at this year’s Games.
The sprinter was reported to have THC in her system –– the main component found in cannabis, after competing in the 100 metres final at the US trials. This led to a one month period of ineligibility that began on June 28th and ends on the same date this month.
The runner’s ban sparked debate over whether the use of cannabis in sport should be treated differently, with the White House reportedly set to discuss the issue with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Richardson claimed she had used the substance as a way of dealing with the “emotional pain” upon learning of the death of her mother and that it was not for performance-enhancing purposes.
Nonetheless, the US star apologised, stating: “As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on the track I represent not only myself, I represent a community that has shown great support, great love.
“I apologise for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”
The American eventually accepted her ban and will now return at the Diamond League meet at Hayward Field in Oregon, which runs from August 20th-21st.