Sha'Carri Richardson is a national champion.
The 23-year-old sprinter from Dallas cruised to her first title at the 2023 United States Track and Field Championships on Friday with a time of 10.82 seconds in the 100-meter. It's Richardson's first major win since she was disqualified from competing individually in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 for a positive marijuana test.
Sha'Carri is not f***ing around pic.twitter.com/F9NBAOP6lb
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) July 8, 2023
Richardson's future in the sport was a major storyline heading into the championships. She won the 2019 NCAA women's outdoor 100-meter at LSU when she was 19 and followed it up with the top time at the 2020 United States Olympic Trials.
But Richardson was unable to compete for gold in Tokyo after the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that she had tested positive for THC after her win. Richardson's one-month suspension for the positive test disqualified her from competing as an individual in the 100 but she was eligible to return for the 4x100-meter relay. However, she wasn't named to the Olympic team.
Shortly after her suspension was announced, Richardson said she had used marijuana to cope with the sudden death of her mother.
“It sent me into a state of emotional panic,” Richardson told NBC in 2021 about the news of her mother's death. “I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”
Until this week, Richardson didn't look the same since her controversial suspension. She finished last at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic — her return to the track— and failed to make the finals for the 100- and 200-meter races at the 2022 USATF Championships.
This victory, though, perhaps signaled both to her country and to the world that Richardson is just as good as she was two years ago. Richardson will now head to Budapest to represent the United States at the World Championships in August.
"Now, I stand here with you again and I'm ready, mentally, physically and emotionally," Richardson said after her victory. "I'm here to say. 'I'm not back, I'm better.'"