American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson apologized to her fans for failing a drug test, that resulted in a 30-day suspension.
A source tells NBC that Richardson tested positive for THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, after she won the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon last month.
The positive test result means Richardson won’t be allowed to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which kicks off on July 23 in Japan.
The 21-year-old Dallas native issued an apology on NBC’s “Today” show on Friday morning. “I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision.”
Richardson blamed her mother’s sudden death last month for her lapse in good judgment. She said learning of her mother’s death sent her into a state of “emotional panic.”
Richardson, who was raised by her aunt and grandmother, added:
“(I’m) not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case, but, however, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things that have impacted me … that definitely was a very heavy topic on me. I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”
She dismissed rumors that she used performance-enhancing steroids. “It’s never been a steroid. It will never be a steroid.”
“Don’t judge me because I am human. I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.”