A suspension for a positive marijuana test can be up to two years. The minimum duration is one month, if an athlete can prove that marijuana use was unrelated to athletic performance and if the person completes a drug treatment program. Last month, USADA suspended Kahmari Montgomery, a sprinter, for a month after testing positive for marijuana.
Richardson’s positive test came about a week before the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee was due to submit the names of its athletes competing in Tokyo. And Richardson was not only supposed to be one of them, but also one of the most recognizable Olympians, at least by the end of the Games.
She dominated the opening weekend of Trials, drawing attention to her scintillating performances, her long orange hair (“to make sure I’m visible and seen,” she said) and a moment moving when she sprinted into the stands to hug her grandmother.
Her 10.86-second victory made her an instant favorite to win gold in Tokyo and set up a much-anticipated Olympics showdown with Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 at the last world championships. Richardson ran the second fastest 100 this year, behind Fraser-Pryce, and in April ran the sixth fastest time ever.
“This will be the last time the United States doesn’t walk away with a gold in the 100,” Richardson told NBC.