Sha’Carri Richardson Faces Tough Return in Disappointing First Race Since Olympics Suspension

Sha’Carri Richardson’s planned triumphant return to track didn’t exactly go as intended. The runner, who was disqualified from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to a failed drug test, came in last place in the Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon on Saturday where she ran against many of the same competitors that qualified for the Olympics. She ran the 100-meter dash against three Jamaican runners who took gold, silver and bronze at this year’s show among others.

Richardson caught up with NBC after the race and gave quite the interview. “Coming back today, it was a great return back to the sport. I wanted to be able to come and perform. Having a month off, dealing with all that I was dealing with. I’m not upset with myself at all,” she said, very confident despite the day’s outcome. “This is one race. I’m not done. Count me out if you want to, talk all the sā€“ā€“ you want. Cause I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that from me. Congratulations to the winners. Congratulations to the people that won, but they’re not done seeing me yet. Period.”

Jamaican Olympian Elaine Thompson-Herah finished in first with a new record at 10.54 seconds. The other two Jamaican runners finished closely behind her in second and third place. “I’m a little bit surprised because I’ve not run that fast in five years and I actually ran fast at the championships,” Thompson-Herah said, per ESPN. “But to come back here after two weeks to run another personal best is really amazing.” Sha’Carri crossed the finish line at 11.14 seconds, something many of her fans weren’t expecting. She wound up withdrawing from the 200-meter race.

Richardson was banned from participating in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana. At the time, she told reporters, she used the drug to cope with the recent death of her mother and the pressure of working toward the Olympics. “This last month was a journey for me, but that’s no excuse because at the end of the day I’m an athlete,” Richardson said at the time. “Today was a day, but it’s not every day. It’s not the end of the world. And like I say, if you count me out, jokes on you.”

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