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COLEMAN SUSPENDED

Sprint star Coleman facing ban after another whereabouts failure

Coleman provisionally suspended after third missed test

In Summary

•The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) later confirmed the ban, and issued a lengthy rebuttal of Coleman’s objections.

•Three failures to properly file whereabouts information or being absent during the hour stated in a 12-month period can result in a one- or two-year suspension. 

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman
World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman
Image: REUTERS

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended yesterday and could miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after again breaching whereabouts rules.

The American sprinter revealed the news on Twitter, but claimed that anti-doping officials had not followed the correct procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping on Dec. 9, 2019 at a time when he had said he would be at home. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) later confirmed the ban, and issued a lengthy rebuttal of Coleman’s objections.

Three failures to properly file whereabouts information or being absent during the hour stated in a 12-month period can result in a one- or two-year suspension. Coleman, also a silver medallist in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2017 worlds, escaped suspension last year when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), after receiving guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on how to calculate the 12-month window for three missed tests, withdrew the charge.

The sprinter later demanded an apology from USADA, but two of those misses have now combined with the latest absence and this time, having spent six months making sure of their ground, the AIU expects a ban to follow.

Coleman, who also helped the United States to 4x100m gold at the 2019 worlds in Doha, acknowledged the failure would count as his third in a 12-month span but said he was willing to take responsibility for only one and accused anti-doping agents of setting a trap to get him.

“Don’t tell me I “missed” a test if you sneak up on my door (parked outside the gate and walked through... there’s no record of anyone coming to my place) without my knowledge,” he said.

“Knocked while I was Christmas shopping five minutes away at the mall (I have receipts and bank statements) and didn’t even bother to call me or attempt to reach me.

“I was more than ready and available for testing if I had received a phone call,” he said, adding that he believed it was “a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test.”