Athletics: Sha'Carri Richardson could miss Tokyo Olympics after doping test
American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson has tested positive for cannabis, sources told Reuters, and is unlikely to have a chance to fight for the Olympic 100-meter title in Tokyo at the end of the month.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the positive control was taken at the US Olympic trials last month, where Richardson established herself as a gold medal contender by winning the 100m in 10,86 seconds.
A positive test during practice would mean all of Richardson's results from the match would be erased, nullifying his victory in the 100m final.
Another source said Jenna Prandini, who finished fourth in the final, had previously been approached to run for the United States in the 100m in Tokyo.
Both sources requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
Calls and emails to Richardson's agent Renaldo Nehemiah, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the American Athletics Federation (USATF) went unanswered on Thursday.
In a cryptic tweet posted earlier today, Richardson wrote: "I am human."
The 21-year-old will appear on NBC's Today Show on Friday, the channel confirmed to Reuters.
Richardson was scheduled to run the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, this weekend, but she was not on the list of race participants on the official meeting website on Thursday.
Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA) but if athletes can prove that their ingestion of the substance was unrelated to athletic performance, a three-month suspension instead of the usual four years is imposed.
If an athlete is prepared to undergo an approved treatment program in conjunction with their national anti-doping organization, the suspension may be reduced to one month.
The Texan aimed to become the first American to win the Olympic 100m title since Gail Devers in 1996, after clocking 10,72 seconds in April, one of her five times under 11 this season.
A 30-day ban, backdated to the time of the unfavorable result, could allow Richardson to compete in the Olympic Games 4x100m relay on August 6, if selected by the USATF.
Richardson could also appeal any sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), like any other sports organization who would consider that the sanction is too lenient.