Following her controversial suspension from the Tokyo Olympics after a positive test for marijuana last month, U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson will hit the track again at the Prefontaine Classic on August 21. She will be participating in the 100 meters and 200 meters races at the Pre Classic, as it begins a post-Olympic sequence of meets. It is typically a rarity for a runner to race two high-octane events on the same day, but Richardson hopes to put on a show in racing both events on the same day.
“I’m looking forward to running fast and putting on a show,” Richardson said in a press release for the event.
At the U.S. Olympic Trials less than a month ago, Richardson recorded a sizzling 10.64 in the 100 meter semi-finals, and took home the win during the final with a time of 10.86, to stamp her ticket to Tokyo. After learning of her biological mother’s death while in Oregon for the Trials, she used marijuana to cope, which led to her positive test, suspension and ban from participating in the Tokyo Olympics. She was said to be the U.S. team’s greatest chance at taking home the gold medal in the women’s 100 meters for the first time since 1996.
The LSU star alum had sent waves across the sports community with her talents on the field, and she had been praised for her unapologetic showmanship during races. Many important figures in popular culture came out in support of Richardson following her suspension and most asserted that she should still be able to run at the Olympics, implying a double standard about how marijuana policies tend to affect individuals of color more harshly.
Richardson’s suspension is set to end in two weeks on July 28, and she will start participating in these Diamond League meets sponsored by Nike, which she is also under as one of their athletes. Race participants have yet to be announced, but it is assumed that medalists from the Olympics will participate in order for fans to see how Richardson will have fared against the competition she was set to face in Tokyo.
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