UNITED STATES: Men’s 100m world champion Christian Coleman has been provisionally suspended after missing another anti-doping test, the Athletics Integrity Unit said yesterday.
The American could now miss next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, where he was set to be favourite for gold, if authorities decide to impose a full ban – which could be up to two years.
“The AIU confirms a provisional suspension against Christian Coleman of the USA for whereabouts failures, a violation of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules,” a tweet said.
The 24-year-old published details of his latest missed drugs test on Twitter on Tuesday but denied any wrongdoing.
“This might result in me being suspended from (for) other filing failures that occurred well over a year ago at this point,” he wrote.
Six months ago he said he lodged an appeal with the AIU after missing a test on Dec 9, 2019. He said he had been Christmas shopping five minutes away from home but had not been called by test inspectors.
Elite athletes worldwide must provide information on their whereabouts in order to be available for random doping tests at all times.
A violation occurs when an athlete fails to make a whereabouts filing or cannot be located. Three missed tests within a 12-month period may be considered an anti-doping violation and result in a suspension.
Coleman was almost ruled out of September’s world championships in Doha, where he won gold, because of three previous missed tests or whereabouts violations.
He successfully appealed because rules state a first missed test has to be backdated to the first day of the quarter, meaning technically he had only missed two tests in the one-year period.
But the December incident means three missed tests or whereabouts violations in 2019.
Coleman said he feels the testing regime of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and more generally is too onerous.
“The sport is in trouble and needs some sort of reform. I was quiet last time but I am not about to let my reputation take a hit again for literally no reason,” he tweeted.
“I have never and will never use performance enhancing supplements or drugs. I am willing to take a drug test EVERY single day for the rest of my career for all I care to prove my innocence.”
Coleman also retweeted US judo Olympian Nick Delpopolo, who wrote: “Completely agree USADA should just allow us to share our location on our phones.
“In this day and age it’s ridiculous to account for where you are going to be every minute of every day weeks/months in advance. A spontaneous trip for fast food can equal a suspension.”
The judoka was expelled from the London 2012 Olympics after testing positive for cannabis. – dpa