World champion Coleman hit with two-year ban

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Doha 2019 world 100 metres champion Christian Coleman will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended by the AIU in June 2020.

The 24-year-old American had disputed one of the missed tests, saying he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window required to be tested. But an athletics disciplinary panel rejected the sprinter’s explanation and banned him until May 13, 2022.

Coleman earns close to a seven-figure salary from his sponsors at Nike and in July issued a lengthy defence of his actions, saying he was Christmas shopping on December 9, 2019, “five minutes away” and should have been telephoned by testers “who didn’t even bother to call me”.

Doping control officers testified before a disciplinary tribunal that they were present during the whole of the allotted hour of 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm on December 9, 2019, in front of his house.

Coleman in turn testified he had arrived home from Christmas shopping shortly before the end of the one-hour period.

However, the disciplinary panel ruled that testers were under no obligation to “invite an athlete to come for testing”.

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, who also helped the United States to 4x100m gold at the 2019 worlds in Doha, later demanded an apology from USADA, but two of those misses have now combined with the latest failure to result in a ban.

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