Chris Paul: 'Not Right' for Sha'Carri Richardson to Miss Olympics Due to Marijuana

Adam WellsJuly 3, 2021

Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates after winning the women's 100-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Ore.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul spoke out about United States track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson's one-month suspension for failing a drug test for marijuana.

Speaking to reporters Saturday, Paul said "it's not right" for Richardson to miss out on competing in her specialty event at the Olympics.

"You can't tell someone how to deal with trauma or how to deal with mental health, whatever it may be. Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug," Paul said. "I'll worry about the Finals when it gets to it, but the Olympics is one of those things that comes around once every four years, and I feel like she deserves her opportunity."

The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday that Richardson accepted a one-month suspension after a positive drug test from a sample collected during the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 19.

Richardson won the women's 100 meters at the event to qualify for the Olympic team. The suspension will prevent her from competing at the Tokyo Games in that event.

In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today show, Richardson apologized and said she used marijuana as a coping mechanism following the death of her biological mother last month.

"I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time," Richardson said.

Paul said Saturday he has not spoken with Richardson but that he would like the opportunity to do so.

Richardson, whose suspension will end July 27, could participate in the Olympics as part of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team. She would have to be named to the squad by USA Track and Field after losing an automatic qualification place because of her failed drug test.