Sha’Carri Richardson officially will miss out on the Summer Olympics. USA Track and Field announced the group that will make up the 4×100 team in Tokyo, and while Richardson was eligible to participate, the organization opted to take opted to go in a different direction. Richardson, who won the 100 meter dash at U.S. Olympic Trials and was viewed as one of the favorites to take home the gold in that event, tested positive for marijuana and was handed a one-month suspension, thereby disqualifying her from participating in Tokyo.
There was, however, still a path for Richardson to make the team: the 4×100 relay. She would have needed to get one of the two discretionary spots that are selected by the team’s coach, but instead, those went to English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs, who were the next highest finishers in the 100 meter dash at trials.
In a statement, USATF explained the decision, saying that while there is agreement that the World Anti-Doping Agency should reconsider its stance on THC, it will follow those standards, anyway.
“While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games,” the organization said in the statement, per USA Today.
“All USATF athletes are equally aware of and must adhere to the current anti-doping code, and our credibility as the National Governing Body would be lost if rules were only enforced under certain circumstances.”
USATF told USA Today that Gardner and Hobbs were selected to fill the two discretionary spots on the roster before Richardson’s suspension from the 100 meters.