Sha'Carri Richardson is speaking out about the criticism she's faced since she was suspended from the U.S. Olympic track and field team for a month starting June 28 after she tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The sprinter, 21, who will not be able to compete in the 100-meter race in Tokyo, her winning event at Olympic trials, sent a series of tweets about the situation early Sunday.
“The support 🖤 my community I thank y’all , the negative forget y’all and enjoy the games because we all know it won’t be the same,” she tweeted.
“I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year,” she added in a follow-up post.
“All these perfect people that know how to live life , I’m glad I’m not one of them!” she concluded.
A U.S. Olympic source told NBC News that she failed the test after her win. Richardson disclosed in an exclusive interview with TODAY that she had ingested marijuana in Oregon, where it is legal, after she learned that her biological mother died.
"I know what I did, I know what I'm supposed to do ... and I still made that decision," Richardson said on TODAY. "I'm not making an excuse or looking for empathy in my case. However, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that ... dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, that definitely was a very heavy topic on me."
Despite the roadblock, Richardson is still determined to return to the track.
"This is just one game. I’m 21. I’m very young," Richardson said. "Unlike most, I have plenty of games left in me to compete in, and I have plenty of talent that backs me up because everything I do comes from me naturally: No steroids. ... After my sanction is up, I’ll be back and ready to compete.”
Richardson’s suspension unearthed a host of emotions on social media from critics. fans, celebrities and fellow athletes.
Actor Seth Rogen retweeted TODAY’s interview with Richardson, adding, “The notion that weed is a problematic ‘drug’ is rooted in racism.”
Adam Rippon, a former Olympic figure skater, shared a series of tweets on Friday, writing, “My heart is broken for @itskerrii. I think she is an amazing athlete and her personality is superstar level. Marijuana being a banned substance in competition seems… outdated???? And unfair.”
“As an athlete we know the rules, which she has acknowledged. With some athletes taking steroids for performance enhancement, in what world would marijuana enhance performance???”
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe also tweeted her support for Richardson: "This is trash. Standing with @itskerrii 💯. This has BEEN outdated."
It's unclear whether Richardson will skip the Summer Games altogether, as she may be able to run in relay events. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and USA Track and Field have yet to address whether Richardson will compete in Tokyo.