Sha’carri Richardson has accepted her ban and her subsequent exclusion from the US Tokyo Olympics bound team after tested positive to marijuana.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” she told Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview on Friday. “I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do … and I still made that decision.”
Richardson accepted a one-month suspension early on Friday from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for an anti-doping rule violation. NBC News has reached out to USA Track and Field for comment.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.
Sha’carri continue, “(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,” she said.
“People don’t understand what it’s like to have to … go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain. Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with the pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you haven’t experienced before or that you thought you never would have to deal with?”
She added that her biological mother’s death was “triggering” and the news sent her into “a state of emotional panic.”