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Sha’Carri Richardson | How Drug Abuse Can Derail A Future Global Legend

Sha’Carri Richardson is a 21-year-old global icon and US track superstar who has attracted masses with her track and field prowess in the la...

Sha’Carri Richardson is a 21-year-old global icon and US track superstar who has attracted masses with her track and field prowess in the last few years.

Sha’Carri Richardson

She was a hot favourite to steal the limelight at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. However, her dream was prematurely crashed when she was suspended for one month by the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for the use of Marijuana. The positive result effectively ruled her out of the Tokyo Games, dealing a heavy blow to the potential gold medalist and record setter in the world of athletics.

In her Olympics absence, three Jamaican queens were able to take a clean sweep of the 100 metres final with Elaine Thompson-Herah defending her gold medal she had won in the previous Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, another double 100 metres Olympic Champion at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, taking silver; and their third Jamaican counterpart, Shericka Jackson, going home with the bronze medal. It was just a huge bitter pill for Sha’Carri to swallow.

Now, a month later; and after completing her one month suspension on time to compete at the Nike’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon; USA; Sha’Carri qualified for the 100 metres final with high hopes only to finish a disappointing last with the three usual culprits from Jamaica repeating another clean sweep in the same order as recorded at the Tokyo Olympics. Elaine Thompson-Herah went on to set another World Leading Record (WL) of 10.54 seconds with Shericka Jackson coming with a new Personal Best (PB) of 10.74 seconds. Even the young and budding 19-year-old Jamaican sprinter, Brianna Williams; came seventh, one place ahead of highly established Sha’Carri.

Sha’Carri Richardson

After the race, Sha’Carri obviously looked very disappointed. She actually some tough interview responses to dish out to the reporter (and the general public at large), which clearly show some frustration and denial in them:

She had this to say: “This is one race. I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s**t you want. Because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth fastest woman in this game ever. Can’t nobody ever take that from me”.

On saying this, Sha’Carri did not really look that stable body wise. She was somehow very jittery, sounding more of someone bitter and in the defensive mode than an athlete who is ready to pick herself up for the better. The general sentiments are that, are we not slowly losing Sha’Carri into the oblivion? Is this not the beginning of her end, so fast for that matter? Though it’s too early to say so, hut her attitude isn’t really the best for a professional athlete.

When she tested positive for Marijuana in June 2021, she blamed her use of it on trying to cope with the unexpected death of her biological mother when she was still undergoing her Olympic trials in Oregon. Sha’Carri, who was raised by her grandmother, said she learnt of the death of her mother through a reporter when she was undergoing an interview at the Olympic trials. If that is true, then it is really nerve-shacking, and can easily trigger emotional tensions and panic.

But again, the fact that she was raised by her grandmother could also spell out that she did not have a good parental upbringing in the first place. It points to a broken family unit, which could explain why her mother’s death was not relayed to her on time. Can that be another factor worth looking at?

And she had this to explain her use of Marijuana: “It sent me into a state of emotional panic. I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”

There is definitely a lot of work that her coach, Dennis Mitchell, is expected do in order to bring back the best out of the firebrand global athlete before she sinks into oblivion. The drug abuse shenanigans have come too early for the record-breaking US poster girl. If not managed properly it could signal the beginning of the end of Sha’Carri Richardson.

She needs to ready herself for the oncoming races, and most importantly, for the Paris 2024 Olympics coming in three years’ time.

Sha’Carri Richardson

We all pray for the best in her life and career.

Tapiwa Zuze™

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