Sha'Carri Richardson

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Sha'Carri Richardson
Sha'Carri Richardson 15555 (sq cropped).jpg
Richardson in 2021
Personal information
Born (2000-03-25) March 25, 2000 (age 22)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
AgentRenaldo Nehemiah
Height5 ft 1 in (155 cm)
Country United States
SportTrack and field
Event(s)100 m, 200 m
College teamLSU Lady Tigers
Turned proJune 2019
Coached byDennis Mitchell
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
Medal record
Women's track and field
Representing the United States United States
Pan American U20 Championships
Gold medal – first place 2017 Trujillo 4×100 m relay

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 old.[2]

In April 2021, Richardson ran a new personal best of 10.72 seconds, becoming the tied seventh-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 cannabis use following her 100 m final at the U.S. Trials, invalidating her win 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 USATF Junior Olympics 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]

Four days after the NCAA Championships, she announced she would forgo collegiate eligibility after her first year, and sign a professional contract.[11] She trains with former Olympic sprinter Dennis Mitchell and is sponsored by Nike.[12][13]

Tokyo Olympics and suspension[edit]

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.[14] A urine sample that she submitted tested positive for THC metabolites, however, indicating recent cannabis use and putting her participation in the Olympics in doubt.[15][16] After successfully completing a counseling program, she accepted a one-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that began on June 28, 2021.[5] While Richardson was ineligible for the Olympic 100 meters due to the suspension ending on 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.[17]

Richardson stated that she took the drug to cope with the pressure of qualifying for the Olympics while mourning the recent death of her biological mother.[18] Her suspension was criticized by many individuals and organizations in favor of liberalizing cannabis policies, including NORML, members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and other members of Congress.[19][20] U.S. President Joe Biden also suggested that drug testing rules governing athletes could be changed.[21] USADA responded to the criticism by pointing out that as a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, it has an obligation to enforce it in the United States. Furthermore, they stated that changing those rules might be problematic, as the vast majority of world’s nation states consider consuming marijuana a criminal offense.[22] In response to the controversy, in September 2021, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced that it would conduct a review regarding the prohibited status of cannabis.[23] Cannabis has remained a prohibited drug for Olympic athletes since 1999, though in 2013 the World Anti-Doping Agency increased the level of THC metabolite allowed from 15 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL.[24]

Richardson returned to the track at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic, placing ninth – last place – with a time of 11.14 seconds. The Tokyo medalists, Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, repeated their placements.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Richardson was raised by her grandmother Betty Harp and an aunt.

In 2021, a week before Richardson's qualifying race for the 2020 Summer Olympics, her biological mother died.[26] Richardson knew nothing of her biological mother's passing until she was asked about it by a reporter.[27]

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][28]

In 2021, Richardson stated that she has a girlfriend.[29][30] She gave a Twitter shout-out to the LGBTQ community immediately after her win in June 2021.[31]

International competitions[edit]

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

National titles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ Zahn, Jennifer. "Sha'Carri Richardson Announces She's Going Pro". MileSplit United States. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Nike Responds to Sha'Carri Richardson's One-Month Suspension for Positive Marijuana Test". Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  14. ^ Nagley, Cassandra (June 20, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson dominates 100m, reveals biological mother died last week". Yahoo Sports.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "U.S. Track & Field Athlete Sha'Carri Richardson Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation". United States Anti-Doping Agency. July 2, 2021.
  17. ^ Pells, Eddie; Graham, Pat (July 2, 2021). "Richardson will miss Olympic 100 after marijuana test". Associated Press. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  18. ^ "'This is bulls***': NFL, NBA stars fume as sports world reacts to Olympics bombshell". Fox Sports. July 3, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  19. ^ "Let Richardson Race". NORML. July 2, 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. ^ "In letter, USADA says it can't change marijuana rules alone". NBC Sports. Associated Press. July 10, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  23. ^ "WADA to review cannabis banned status". France 24. AFP. September 15, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  24. ^ Cannabis, German Sport University Cologne, accessed: 2021-07-27.
  25. ^ Chavez, Chris (August 21, 2021). "Sha'Carri Richardson Finishes Last In Return To Racing As Jamaicans Go 1-2-3". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  26. ^ "Sha'Carri Richardson, now America's fastest woman, scorches her Olympic Trials final". NBC Sports. June 19, 2021 – via YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "Sha'Carri Richardson said she took marijuana after learning about the death of her biological mother".
  28. ^ Graham, Pat (June 17, 2021). "Richardson stands out on track with long nails, fast times". Associated Press. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  29. ^ "Sha'Carri Richardson Thanked Her Girlfriend After Making Olympic Team". June 21, 2021. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Schultz, Ken (June 28, 2021). "Richardson suspended 1 month after positive marijuana test". Outsports. Retrieved July 6, 2021.

External links[edit]