"I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions," Richardson said.
U.S. track star Sha'Carri Richardson is speaking out about her one-month suspension after testing positive for THC during a drug test.
"As much as I'm disappointed, I know that when I step on the track, I don't represent myself. I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love," Richardson said in an exclusive interview with TODAY on July 2. "So I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions."
Richardson confirmed that her drug intake happened in Oregon, right before the Olympic trials, after she found out that her biological mother had died because a reporter told her during an interview. She said it "was definitely triggering, was definitely nerve shocking" and sent her into "a state of emotional panic."
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced on July 2 that Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation after a sample collected from her at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 19 came back positive for THC.
"Richardson's period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, and because she successfully completed a counseling program regarding her use of cannabis," the USADA said.
With the positive test, Richardson's results from the trials on June 19 have been disqualified, which means she is no longer eligible to run in the Olympic 100-metre race. She could still race in the Olympic 4x100m relay race, however, due to a later date and different qualification rules.
Richardson told TODAY that no matter what, she's going to continue with her Olympic dreams. "After my sanction is up, I'll be back and able to compete," she said. "This will never happen again."