American champion Sha’Carri Richardson says she smoked ganja as a way of coping with her mother’s recent death.
She made the revelation Friday on the “Today” show after testing positive for a chemical found in marijuana, which disqualifies her from competing at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt,” she told NBC. “I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”
Richardson’s biological mother died a week before the US trials in late June, and the sprinter only learnt of the sad news during a post-race interview with a reporter.
Richardson, who won the 100 at Olympic trials in 10.86 seconds on June 19, has accepted a 30-day suspension that ends July 27, which would be in time to run in the women’s relays. USA Track and Field has not disclosed plans for the relay.
The 21-year-old sprinter was expected to face Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in one of the most highly anticipated races of the Olympic track meet.
On Thursday, as reports swirled about her possible marijuana use, Richardson put out a tweet that said, simply: “I am human.”