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USATF explains Sha’carri Richardson exclusion

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After testing positive for marijuana and accepting a one-month suspension, sprinter Sha’carri Richardson will not be going to the Olympics. On Tuesday, Richardson was excluded from the 4×100 relay.

In a statement, USA Track & Field said they were “incredibly sympathetic” toward Richardson’s “extenuating circumstances” and that they “fully agree” that international rules regarding marijuana in sporting competition should be reevaluated.

However, that wasn’t enough for USATF to include Richardson on the roster for the Olympics.

“So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team,” the statement read.

Maintaining fairness in this instance means offering the remaining relay spots to the sixth- and seventh-place finishers, English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs. Gardner and Hobbs moved up the list after Richardson’s disqualification. 

Many have rallied in support of Richardson, including Sue Bird and Patrick Mahomes III.