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World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman has been banned from competition until May 2022 for breaches of anti-doping ‘whereabouts’ rules.
The 24-year-old United States sprinter, who won individual and relay gold at Doha 2019, is not accused of taking a banned substance but was found guilty of two missed tests and one ‘filing failure’ in 2019.
Three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation, meaning Coleman was banned for two years. He has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 30 days of receipt of the decision.
The athlete will remain ineligible to compete until 13 May 2022. 2/2
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) October 27, 2020
A statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit read: “The Disciplinary Tribunal has upheld the AIU’s charge and banned sprinter Christian Coleman of the USA for 2 years for 3 Whereabouts Failures in a 12-month period, a violation of the @worldathletics Anti-Doping Rules.
“The athlete will remain ineligible to compete until 13 May 2022.”
The ‘filing failure’ charge relates to Coleman failing to update his whereabouts information promptly after he learned of changes to his itinerary.
According to the written verdict from the Athletics Integrity Unit, Coleman had indicated he would be at his home in Kentucky on the date in question.
He was visited by testing officers outside of his designated testing slot but was instead at the Drake Relays meet in Iowa, and updated his whereabouts data to reflect this around five minutes after being called by testing officers.
The December 2019 missed test occurred when Coleman went out shopping during his designated one-hour time slot, meaning a third strike on his record for the year.
The AIU’s verdict also noted a previous charge against Coleman which, had it been proven, would have ruled him out of the World Championships at which he won his double gold.
Coleman had been charged with a filing failure in June 2018 which, together with the January and April 2019 breaches, would have constituted a violation.
However, filing failures are deemed to have occurred on the first day of the relevant three-month whereabouts period – in that case April 1, 2018, taking it just outside of the 12-month window.