In a world that makes sense, Sha’Carri Richardson would be competing in the Olympics.
In a world that makes sense, Richardson wouldn’t have to cope with family trauma as a 21-year old, she wouldn’t have to hear about the death of her biological mother from a stranger, and the committees governing Olympic competition wouldn’t have an outdated policy on a drug that has been proven to have natural health benefits — but certainly running faster isn’t one of them.
But sadly, oftentimes this world doesn’t make any sense. And imperfect circumstances usually create imperfect situations.
That’s exactly what we have here with Richardson. The breakout track star will officially miss the entire 2021 Olympics in Tokyo after the slim hope that Richardson would be able to compete in the 4x100 relay — after her 30-day suspension disqualified her from the individual 100m dash — was, itself, dashed.
Her suspension, of course, came after a drug test revealed that she had a chemical in her system associated with marijuana. But that suspension would have ended right before the 4x100 relay.
Alas, USA Track and Field dropped their official roster for Tokyo on Tuesday night, and Richardson was not on it.
The organization released a statement on its decision to not name Richardson to the Olympic team:
“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.
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.
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.”
Richardson should be dazzling fans with her infectious personality and unapologetic boldness at these Olympic Games. She should be running her way directly into the hearts of people around the world.
But she won’t.
The young sprinter is hopeful she’ll come back on the scene and dominate in competition around the world.
She also apologized to her fans and supporters for the circumstances that led to her not being able to compete.
Richardson is a world-class athlete that made a “questionable decision” at one of the worst possible times in her life. She didn’t break any laws, and she didn’t endanger anyone’s life. Letting her run and put smiles on the faces of millions around the world just makes sense.
Yet sadly, we live in a world that doesn’t make sense.
And this is where we are.