Just as she promised, Sha'Carri Richardson is back.
The sprinter on Saturday is set to compete in the Prefontaine Classic in what will be her first race since she missed the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana and being suspended for a month. Ahead of the race, Richardson told the Today show she's feeling "excited" and "overjoyed" to be "getting back to doing what it is that I love to do." She also reflected on how it felt to watch the Olympics while not being able to compete herself.
"It was a moment of bitterness, but at the same time, it was sweet because it just gives me more — it gives me more time, it gives me more to show the world that I'm here to stay," she said. "And it just guarantees that I'm going to be here just a little bit longer in the game. But definitely watching it made me want to push forward and just grow from that."
After she tested positive for marijuana, Richardson apologized and explained that she had been trying to "hide my pain" after learning her mother had died, which sent her "into a state of emotional panic." News that Richardson would miss the Olympics sparked backlash, with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) arguing that "the ban on marijuana is a significant and unnecessary burden on athletes' civil liberties."
Richardson, who said she's now "doing a whole lot better," told Today that if the World Anti-Doping Agency were to change its rules regarding marijuana use as a result of the controversy, she'd be "proud of the fact I could do that for other athletes." She added, "With this first race coming back, it's a thank you, because at the end of the day, I did make a mistake, but that doesn't take away from my talent, that doesn't take away from who I am."