World Championship gold medallist Christian Coleman has been conditionally suspended and may face a two-year ban after disclosing on Tuesday that he missed a drugs test last December.
The American sprinter was almost banned last year after his violation of anti-doping ‘whereabouts’ across 2018 and 2019. Coleman revealed his latest missed drug test via Twitter.
Coleman famously clocked 9.76sec to win gold in the 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Doha last year. He stated that he had unsuccessfully challenged an Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) finding that he missed a test on December 9, 2019.
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The 24-year old sprinter has history with missing drugs tests in the past. He dodged suspension ahead of the World Championships last year after committing three ‘whereabouts’ failures in a period of 12 months. Those offences were recorded on June 6, 2018, January 16, 2019 and April 26, 2019. However, the US Anti-Doping Agency withdrew the case after it was proved there had been a filing irregularity regarding the date of the first missed test.
"And now this might result in me being suspended from other filing failures that occurred well over a year ago at this point," Coleman said.
The statement posted by Coleman along with what looked like a copy of his formal notification from the AIU of a missed test indicates that if the missed case is confirmed the American will face up to a two-year suspension. This means he will not be able to compete at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
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As per the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency , any combination of three whereabouts failures or missing a test or failing to file paperwork on time in a span of a 12-month period is suspected to be a doping offence punishable by a two-year suspension.
The two year suspension is often reduced to one year if the circumstances seem mitigating, but Coleman’s recent history and actions indicate a tough battle.
Coleman has come out combative regarding the latest failure, posting on his Twitter that the missed test in December was a deliberate attempt to slur him.
“I think the attempt on December 9th was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test,” Coleman said in a statement. “Don’t tell me I “missed” a test if you sneak up on my door (parked outside the gate and walk through...there’s no record of anyone coming to my place) without my knowledge,” Coleman said.
He further claimed that testers visited him while he was out shopping for Christmas at a nearby mall and could be easily verified through his bank statements and receipts.
“I was more than ready and available for testing and if I had received a phone call I could’ve taken the drug test and carried on with my night,” he said.
“I was only made aware of this attempted drug test the next day on December 10th, 2019 by the AIU when I got this failed attempt report out of nowhere. I was completely unaware anybody tried to test me the day before,” he added.
The report posted by Coleman from the doping control officer suggested that the tester had arrived at his apartment and failed to get his response after making several multiple loud knocks every 10 minutes for an hour.
According to the document, a doorbell next to Coleman's door was pressed but no ring could be heard and it was also stated that no attempts were made to reach Coleman by phone.
“I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested,” Coleman said. “Literally. (I don’t know) why this time was different. He even said he couldn’t hear the doorbell so why wouldn’t you call me?”
Coleman said testers reappeared two days later to carry out a test for which he was present. “And I’ve been tested multiple times since, even during quarantine,” he added. “But of course, that doesn’t matter, and the fact that I have never taken drugs doesn’t matter either.”
Earlier this month, Bahraini world 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser was provisionally suspended after missing four doping tests.
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