Sha’Carri Richardson cannot run in the Olympic 100-meter race after testing positive for a chemical found in marijuana.
She did not fight the decision and simply accepted the 30-day suspension that ends July 27, which would be in time to run in the women’s relays.
Richardson, who won the 100 at Olympic trials in 10.86 seconds on June 19, spoke about her ban Friday on the “Today Show.”
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” she told Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview Friday on TODAY. “I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do … and I still made that decision.”
“Don’t judge me because I am human. I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster,” she later added.
The loss of her mother played a part, she said on TODAY.
“(I’m) not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but, however, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me … that definitely was a very heavy topic on me,” she said.
“People don’t understand what it’s like to have to … go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain. Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with the pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you haven’t experienced before or that you thought you never would have to deal with?”
She added that her biological mother’s death was “triggering” and the news sent her into “a state of emotional panic.”
Fans who were looking forward to seeing her run against Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in one of the most highly anticipated races won’t get that opportunity now.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; 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,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.