Sha'Carri Richardson

Sha'Carri Richardson
Personal information
Born (2000-03-25) March 25, 2000 (age 21)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active2015–present
Height5 ft 1 in (155 cm)
CountryUnited States
SportTrack and field
Sprints100 m
200 m
College teamLSU Lady Tigers
Turned proJune 2019
Coached byDennis Mitchell
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 60 m: 7.20 (2019)
  • 100 m: 10.72 (2021)
  • 200 m: 22.00 (2020)

Sha'Carri Richardson (/ʃəˈkɛri/ shə-KERR-ee;[1] born March 25, 2000) is an American track and field sprinter who competes in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Richardson rose to fame in 2019 as a freshman at Louisiana State University, running 10.75 seconds to break the 100 m record at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships. This winning time made her one of the ten fastest women in history at 19 years of age.[2]

In April 2021, Richardson ran a new personal best of 10.72 seconds, becoming the sixth fastest woman of all time and the fourth fastest American woman in history.[3] She qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics after winning the women's 100-meter dash with 10.86 in the United States Olympic Trials.[4] On July 1, it was reported that Richardson had tested positive for THC (the main psychoactive component found in cannabis) following her 100 m final at the U.S. Trials, invalidating her results and making her ineligible to compete in the 100 m at the Olympics. After successfully completing a counseling program, she accepted a one-month period of ineligibility that began on June 28, 2021.[5]


As a teenager, she won the 100 m title at the AAU Junior Olympics – the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States — in 2016, then another title at the USA Track & Field Junior Championships in 2017.[6][7] She made her international debut at the 2017 Pan American U20 Athletics Championships, where she won a gold medal in the 4 × 100-meter relay alongside Gabriele Cunningham, Rebekah Smith, and Tara Davis.[8] She enrolled at Louisiana State University and began competing for the LSU Lady Tigers track and field team. Competing as a college athlete, she was a finalist in both the 60-meter dash and the 200 m the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.[6]

At the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships she won the 100 m and placed runner-up in the 200 m by less than one hundredth of a second. Both her times were world under-20 records for the sprints. Her NCAA performance, which also included second in the 4 × 100 m relay, was the second best ever by a female sprinter, after Merlene Ottey.[9][10]

Training with former sprinter Dennis Mitchell, she decided to forgo her collegiate eligibility – American college athletes are amateurs and may not accept payment – after her first year and turned professional.[11]

Tokyo Olympics and suspension

Richardson qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics with a 100-meter time of 10.86 seconds at the 2020 United States Olympic Trials. It was 0.13 seconds faster than Javianne Oliver, who finished second.[12] Shortly before the Tokyo Olympics, she tested positive for marijuana, which put her participation in doubt.[13] After successfully completing a counseling program, she accepted a one-month period of ineligibility that began on June 28, 2021.[5] While Richardson will be ineligible for the Olympic 100 meters due to a 30-day suspension that ends July 27, 2021, she could have been eligible for the Women's 4 × 100 relay scheduled for August 5, 2021. However, she was not selected, thereby missing the Olympics entirely.[14]

Richardson stated that she took the drug to cope with the pressure of qualifying for the Olympics while mourning the recent death of her mother.[15] Her suspension was criticized by many individuals and organizations in favor of liberalizing cannabis policies in the United States, including NORML, members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and other congresspeople.[16][17][18][19][20] U.S. President Joe Biden later suggested that drug testing rules governing athletes may be changed, although he supported Richardson's suspension for breaking the rules.[21] An online petition at MoveOn to have U.S. Anti-Doping Agency overturn the decision received 575,000 signatures.[22]

Personal life

In 2021, a week before Richardson's qualifying race for the 2021 Summer Olympics, her biological mother died.[1]

Richardson is noted for her long nails and her colorful hair on the field, and has stated that her style is inspired by that of American track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner.[1][23]

In 2021, Richardson stated that she has a girlfriend.[24][25] She gave a Twitter shout-out to the LGBTQ community immediately after her win in June 2021.[26]

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2017 Pan American U20 Championships Trujillo, Peru 1st 4 × 100 m relay 44.07

National titles

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kilgore, Adam (June 20, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson is bold, brash and the best American hope in the 100 meters". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  2. ^ Browne, P. J. "19-Year-Old American Wows With World's Fastest 100m In Two Years". Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  3. ^ Senior Outdoor 100 Metres Women. IAAF. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "Van Niekerk qualifies for Olympics". BBC Sport. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson could miss Olympics after failed drug test". NBC News. July 2, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Shacarri Richardon. IAAF. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Sha'Carri Richardson. LSU Sports. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Female 4x100 M Relay. Timerhub 2017 Pan American U20 Championships. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Jordan, Roy (June 9, 2019). Richardson makes history with NCAA sprint double . IAAF. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  10. ^ Sha’Carri Richardson runs record-breaking NCAA sprint double. Athletics Weekly (June 9, 2019). Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  11. ^ Constantini, Lisa (August 18, 2020). Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson Opens Up About Prepping For Tokyo, Mental Health And What Being Black In America Means To Her. Team USA. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  12. ^ Nagley, Cassandra (June 20, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson dominates 100m, reveals biological mother died last week". Yahoo Sports.
  13. ^ Draper, Kevin; Macur, Juliet (July 2, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson, a Track Sensation, Tests Positive for Marijuana". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  14. ^ Pells, Eddie; Graham, Pat (July 2, 2021). "Richardson will miss Olympic 100 after marijuana test". Associated Press. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  15. ^ "'This is bulls***': NFL, NBA stars fume as sports world reacts to Olympics bombshell". Fox Sports. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  16. ^ "Let Richardson Race". NORML. July 2, 2021.
  17. ^ Rep Barbara Lee [@RepBarbaraLee] (July 2, 2021). "Marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug. Out of date & discriminatory marijuana laws trickle down & have life-altering consequences. It's shameful" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Earl Blumenauer [@repblumenauer] (July 2, 2021). "Time to get real America. It's past time to stop the failed War on Drugs. What's happening to Sha'Carri Richardson is just one more example of its collateral damage large and small" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Davis, Charles (July 2, 2021). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says cannabis prohibition is a 'racist and colonial policy' and condemns Olympics ban of Sha'Carri Richardson". Business Insider. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  20. ^ MAEVE SHEEHEY (July 2, 2021). "Gaetz pushes Biden to defend sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson after marijuana suspension". Politico.
  21. ^ Tom Angell (July 3, 2021). "Biden Suggests Anti-Marijuana Rules For Athletes Could Change Following Sha'Carri Richardson Suspension". Marijuana Moment.
  22. ^ Alexandra Kelley (July 6, 2021). "Petition to let Sha'Carri Richardson run in Olympics gets 450k signatures". The Hill.
  23. ^ Graham, Pat (June 17, 2021). "Richardson stands out on track with long nails, fast times". Associated Press. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  24. ^ "Sha'Carri Richardson Thanked Her Girlfriend After Making Olympic Team". June 21, 2021. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  25. ^ Oregonian/OregonLive, Tyler Tachman | The (June 20, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson blazes to victory in women's 100 meters on an emotional night for the rising star". oregonlive. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  26. ^ Schultz, Ken (June 28, 2021). "Richardson suspended 1 month after positive marijuana test". Outsports. Retrieved July 6, 2021.

External links


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