Tokyo 2020: US sprinter Richardson tests positive for cannabis, risks disqualification

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By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

American sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, has tested positive for cannabis and is now unlikely to get the chance to challenge for the Olympic 100 metres title in Tokyo later this month.

Reuters reported that a reliable source familiar with the matter revealed that a positive test came at the US Olympic trials last month.

Richardson had in those trials emerged a gold medal contender, winning the 100m in 10.86 seconds.

According to Reuters, US sprinter, Jenna Prandini, has been approached already to take her place in the Tokyo games.

Richardson was already touted as the favourite for the 100m dash, which would have made her the first American woman to win the Olympic 100m title since Gail Devers in 1996.

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Richardson, who is yet to officially comment on the issue, posted a sparse, cryptic tweet on Thursday, saying, “I am human”.

Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, however, if athletes can prove that their ingestion of the substance was unrelated to sports performance, then a suspension of three months rather than the usual four years is imposed.

If an athlete is willing to undertake an approved treatment programme in collaboration with their national anti-doping body, then the ban can be reduced to one month.

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