One of the fastest runners in the world has been banned for two years after three missed drug tests

Andrew Dawson
·2-min read
Photo credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images
Photo credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • Sprinter Christian Coleman’s two-year provisional ban for whereabouts failures has been upheld by the Athletic Integrity Unit. The ruling means that the 100-meter world champ will not be able to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

  • Despite the ruling, there is no suggestion that Coleman ever failed a drug test.

  • There is an opportunity to appeal.

Christian Coleman, the 100-meter world champion, has been banned from competition by World Athletics for two years, until May 13, 2022, for missed drug tests. That means he will likely not be allowed to race at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Coleman was handed a provisional ban in June, for missing three drug tests in a 12-month period in 2019, by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)—an organisation independent of World Athletics, which oversees drug testing, compliance, and investigations in track and field. The punishment for 'whereabouts failures' is a one- to two-year ban, depending on the number of previous transgressions. A disciplinary tribute panel upheld that ban.

The World Anti-Doping Agency requires top-level athletes who are in the registered testing pool to report their location and be available for testing during a 60-minute time period every day. Three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period is considered an anti-doping rule violation. Coleman missed tests on January 16, 2019, and December 9, 2019, and he had a filing failure on April 26, 2019.

According to the ruling, Coleman argued that he was home during the 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. window of time because he remembers watching the start of Monday Night Football, and that he must have just missed the control officer and blood-collection assistant. His receipts from Chipotle, at 7:53 p.m., and Walmart, at 8:22 p.m., were presented as evidence, but AIU didn’t accept his reasoning. (You can see the entire decision here.)

Despite the ruling, there is no indication that Coleman had ever taken a banned substance.

Coleman now has 30 days to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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