Shacarri Richardson Returns to Competition at Prefontaine

After serving a one-month suspension, the American sprinter will return to competition at the Diamond League meeting in Oregon on Saturday (21 August), when she will face up against medalists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Shacarri Richardson Returns to Competition at Prefontaine

Shacarri Richardson Returns to Competition at Prefontaine

On Saturday (21 August) at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, USA, Sha’Carri Richardson will make her return to competitive athletics competition.

The American has returned after serving a one-month suspension for testing positive for a cannabinoid in the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, where she had previously won the women’s 100-meter dash.

It’ll be interesting to see how the three Olympic gold medalists from Tokyo—Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson—fair against the year’s third-fastest woman.

The dismissal of Sha’Carri Richardson

It was announced on 1 July by USADA that Richardson has accepted his suspension “for an anti-doping rule violation for testing positive for a drug of abuse,” following a preliminary ban handed down on 28 June.

On June 19th, while competing in the Trials, Richardson supplied a sample that tested positive for THC, a substance present in marijuana.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) considers THC to be an abuse substance, making it illegal to use during competitions but not otherwise forbidden.

Despite the fact that Richardson used the drug off the field of competition, she tested positive for it during the competition and was thus penalised in accordance with USADA’s own regulations, which state: “If an athlete tests positive for a substance of abuse during an in-competition test, but the athlete can establish that the use of the substance was unrelated to sport performance, then the athlete’s period of ineligibility will be reduced to three years.”

Richardson’s time of ineligibility was reduced to one month since her cannabis usage happened outside of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, and because she successfully completed a counselling programme addressing her use of cannabis, USADA noted in its one-month ban.

Because of the punishment, all of her trial qualifying times were nullified.

Because USA Track & Field (USATF) chooses its Olympic squad exclusively on results at Trials, Richardson was not considered for selection in either the 100-meter dash or the 4×100-meter relay, despite the fact that her ban ended before the commencement of the athletics competition at Tokyo 2020.

Olympic Gold Medalists Against. Sha’Carri Richardson at Tokyo 2020

There will be a world-class field of women’s 100m runners in Eugene, Oregon, led by Richardson and the three medalists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Richardson ran 10.86 in the final of the U.S. Trials.

The U.S.’s Teahna Daniels and Javianne Oliver, who won silver in the relay at Tokyo, are among those who will be competing, as are Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji (who finished sixth) and Côte d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou (who placed fourth). Squad Jamaica’s fourth member on the winning 4x100m relay team is Briana Williams.

In April at the Miramar Invitational in Florida, Richardson ran a 10.72, making her the world’s fastest woman in 2021 and the sixth-fastest woman in history over 100 metres.

Only Fraser-Pryce (10.63 in June) and Thompson-Herah (10.61 in the Olympics) have run faster this year than Richardson has since then.

After being denied a race in Tokyo, the prospect of a showdown between the young American talent and the Olympic medalists is tantalising.

Jackson and Ta Lou, the fourth and fifth fastest ladies this year, respectively, will both be racing.

In May, Richardson competed in the 100-meter dash at the international level at the wet Gateshead Diamond League in England. Despite a very severe headwind (-3.1 m/s), she finished second in 11.44 seconds. The Texan sprinter had already beaten the odds earlier that month in the USATF Golden Games, where she ran a time of 10.77 (-1.2 m/s) despite a strong headwind.

In addition to racing against Kambundji and Ta Lou, Olympic bronze medalist Gabrielle Thomas, relay silver medalist Jenna Prandini, world champion Dina Asher-Smith, and American track great Allyson Felix in the women’s 200 metres, the American is also scheduled to compete.

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