Sha'Carri Richardson said she took marijuana after learning about the death of her biological mother

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Sha'Carri Richardson said she took marijuana after learning about the death of her biological mother
Sha'Carri Richardson has said she took marijuana after learning of the death of her biological mother. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
  • Sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson said she took marijuana after learning about her biological mother's death.
  • Richardson said she was "blinded by hurt" when she heard the news of her mother's death from a reporter.
  • She has been given a one-month ban by USADA, and will no longer compete in the 100m in Tokyo.

US sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson has said she took marijuana after learning about the death of her biological mother.

Speaking to NBC's Today show, Richardson said a reporter told her about her biological mother's death a few days before the US Olympic Trials began.

"To hear that information come from a complete stranger, it was definitely triggering. It was definitely nerve-shocking." she said.

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"No offense to him at all, he was just doing his job, but it put me in a state of mind of emotional panic."

She told Today that she took marijuana after finding out the news.

"I'm not making an excuse or looking for empathy in my case," she said.

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"However, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that ... Dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, that definitely was a very heavy topic on me."

"I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by sadness, and hurting, and hiding hurt," she said.

Richardson was in Oregon at the time, where marijuana is legal, but the substance is on the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned list.

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Sha'Carri Richardson said she took marijuana after learning about the death of her biological mother
Sha'Carri Richardson dominated US Olympic Trials in June. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

On Friday morning, USADA announced that Richardson was banned for one month, backdated from June 19.

"The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels," said USADA chief executive Travis Tygart.

"Hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her."

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Richardson won the women's 100m race at US Trials with a time of 10.86 seconds, but her result was invalidated because of the positive test.

As such, while her ban ends before the Olympics starts, she won't be allowed to compete in the individual 100m race in Tokyo.

She could still be eligible to race in the 4x100m relay, however. Heats for that competition begin on August 5.

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Richardson told Today that she intends to compete in many Olympics to come after returning from her ban.

"This is just one game. I'm 21. I'm very young," she said.

"Unlike most, I have plenty of games left in me to compete in and I have plenty of talent that backs me up because everything I do comes from me naturally.

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"After my sanction is up I'll be back and ready to compete."

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