According to The Daily Mail, sprinter Christian Coleman has registered three whereabouts violations. As a result, he is now in grave danger of missing the 2019 World championships and the 2020 Olympics.
The rules state that track and field athletes like Coleman have to provide their location each day for a one-hour period for potential out-of-competition drug tests. Failure to comply will result in a whereabouts anti-doping infraction. While such violations only result in 2-year bans, as compared to four-year bans for positive tests, it could still be costly for Christian Coleman.
His only chance lies with the IAAF’s Anti-Doping Rules where, a whereabouts violation can be reduced to one year. However, this is dependent on the Athlete’s degree of Fault.
The Mail further reported that Coleman is disputing one of the whereabouts failures. The world’s fastest man is challenging a minimum one-year ban from the sport. Christian Coleman is regarded as one of the biggest names in the entire sport.
If things do not go his way, he could miss the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics. If this took place at the beginning of June, there would not have been such a big hue and cry, as he would still be eligible for the Olympics.
If Christian Coleman is banned, it will be interesting to see how he is received upon his return — and how his suspension affects his legacy.
Coleman’s management team remained silent about the case, while the USADA and the IAAF, athletics’ governing body, also declined to comment. The American has not spoken publicly ever since he opted out of the Birmingham Diamond League meeting last Sunday citing “complications occurring after practice this week”.
The 23-year-old Coleman is the reigning national champion at 100m. In 2017, he finished second to Justin Gatlin at the world championships — and one spot ahead of Usain Bolt.
The 2019 worlds are next month in Qatar, and Coleman has the world’s leading time in the 100m the past three years. He also has qualified for worlds in the 200m.
With the track world looking for someone to fill the massive vacuum Usain Bolt left in the sport when he retired in 2017, Coleman signed a reported seven-figure deal with Nike when he turned pro the same year.
His main rival in the 100m at the worlds figures to be Justin Gatlin, who, like Coleman, attended the University of Tennessee.
The 200m was setting up to be one of the featured events at the worlds in a showdown between Coleman and Noah Lyles. This rivalry will be one to watch heading into the Tokyo Games — assuming Coleman is eligible.
However some athletes have successfully staved off a possible suspension after three missed tests. In 2016, British cyclist Lizzie Deignan, then Lizzie Armitstead, escaped suspension after taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Deignan argued that one of her three missed tests should be declared invalid because a doping control officer had not followed procedures correctly and tried hard enough to locate her. Coleman’s failure to notify testers of his whereabouts was greeted with scepticism by US distance runner Kara Goucher on Thursday.
“Missing 3 tests in a 12 month period is bad,” Goucher wrote on Twitter. “You can literally text an update of your location at any time. Will be interesting to see if he is able to dispute one of the missed tests.”