Sha’Carri Richardson, an American sprinter, has been suspended from competition for 30 days after testing positive for cannabis following USA Track & Field trials in Oregon last month, the New York Times reports. The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to August 8 and the suspension will end on July 27, meaning the top U.S. runner will not be allowed to compete in the Olympic 100 this year although she will be eligible to compete in the women’s relays.
It’s unclear whether she will appeal the suspension, the report says. She has not commented on the discipline directly, only posting to Twitter “I am human.” If the ban is upheld, it would negate her trials performance.
Cannabis is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances during in-competition periods, which runs from 11:59 pm on the day prior to competition through the conclusion. Athletes are allowed 150 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood without causing a positive test. In 2017, WADA removed CBD from the prohibited substances list but added synthetic cannabinoids, such as “Spice.”
Positive tests for cannabis can lead to suspensions from one month to two years. The minimum ban is usually imposed if an athlete can prove the cannabis use was not related to performance and the person completes a substance abuse program, according to the Times.
Richardson is considered a favorite to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games following her 10.86 time in the 100 meters trials. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee must submit the names of competing athletes next week.
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