We got the FOUR-time Olympic Gold Medalist out at LAX ... and seeing as she was born in Jamaica -- we had to ask about Bolt's comments that the new generation of Jamaican sprinters are "spoiled" and lazy.
Richards-Ross wouldn't go that far with her analysis of the situation ... but tells us she agrees with Bolt -- and says the country's love for the legendary sprinter is actually partly to blame.
"When you have a megastar like Usain Bolt," Richards-Ross tells us ... "it kind of suffocates the next generation of stars."
Richards-Ross also says that because Bolt was so dominant in the main sprinting events ... younger runners came up trying to make their way in OTHER events -- leading to an issue now.
But, good news for USA, Richards-Ross says all of that will lead to Americans being dominant in sprinting ... for now.
"Probably in the next four years you'll see a huge Jamaican star. But, right now, I think it's going to be Team USA."