By IVAN THOMAS-HICKS
In June, Sha’Carri Richardson qualified for the Olympic Games and became the fastest woman in the world, completing the 100-meter dash in just 10.86 seconds. But in July, Richardson was suspended from Team USA after failing a drug test, testing positive for THC. Now, after a month-long suspension, Richardson is back on the track and will race Team Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson—all Olympic medalists in Tokyo—at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
Richardson would have faced off against these three champions if she had been in Tokyo. Thompson-Herah broke the 10.62 100-meter dash record set by Florence Griffith Joyner 1988. Thompson-Herah won gold with her time of 10.61 seconds, and Fraser-Pryce and Jackson won silver and bronze, respectively.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do and what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision,” she told Today. “But I’m not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case.”
And her three Team Jamaica competitors are the same women Richardson praised for sweeping the 100-meter dash at the Olympics—”Congratulations to the ladies of Jamaica for the clean sweep,” Richardson tweeted in July. “Powerful, strong black women dominating the sport.”
Though she was unable to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, Sha’Carri Richardson is just in the dawn of what will be an amazing (and likely record-breaking) career.