Coe warns Cole­man not to ex­pect Olympic deal over missed tests

Iran Daily - - Sports -

Se­bas­tian Coe, the pres­i­dent of World Ath­let­ics, warned Chris­tian Cole­man not to ex­pect any spe­cial deals or fa­vors that would al­low him to re­turn in time for the Tokyo Olympics if he is banned for miss­ing anti-dop­ing tests.

Cole­man, who stormed to the world 100m ti­tle last Oc­to­ber and was fa­vorite for the blue riband event in Tokyo, is fac­ing two years out of the sport af­ter be­ing pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended for three where­abouts fail­ures in 12 months – the last of which oc­curred when he went Christ­mas shop­ping in­stead of be­ing at his house when the testers were due to visit. How­ever last week the 24-year-old Amer­i­can claimed that a two-year sen­tence would be “overkill” – be­fore float­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that “some sort of deal” might be agreed where he was sus­pended but could re­turn for the Olympics, the Guardian re­ported.

Lord Coe has made it clear, how­ever, that this was not how the Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit (AIU), the sport’s in­de­pen­dent watch­dog on anti-dop­ing mat­ters, worked. “I would be very sur­prised if there was any thought that a deal is go­ing to be struck here or in any of these cases,” Coe said. “It’s just not the sys­tem. That is not what the AIU does.”

While not men­tion­ing Cole­man by name, Coe also ad­mit­ted his sur­prise that any­one with two strikes against them for miss­ing tests was not more care­ful.

“I don’t think it is that com­pli­cated, I re­ally don’t,” added Coe.

“The ath­letes are asked to give their where­abouts for one hour a day, and there is plenty of scope if that one hour sud­denly be­comes a prob­lem. It’s not ar­cane mar­itime law. You don’t need a de­gree in lo­gis­tics from Cam­bridge to fig­ure that out. It’s what you are ex­pected to do.

“If you’re hang­ing by a thread on one or even two of those, then my in­stinct would be to be sit­ting by my front door for that hour. You wouldn’t risk not be­ing there. And if they fall foul of this reg­u­larly they will be banned.

“I can’t put it in any blunter way. And that is what the AIU is there to do. It’s not a sort of an af­ter­thought. Along­side bi­o­log­i­cal pass­ports and ad­verse an­a­lyt­i­cal find­ings it is a cen­tral part of the anti-dop­ing land­scape.”

Coe said he was heart­ened by the fact so many ath­letes had ex­pressed their sup­port for the where­abouts rule af­ter Cole­man and the world 400m cham­pion Salwa Eid Naser were both pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended in the past month for miss­ing drugs tests. “It’s the world they live in,” he added. “They ac­cept it. And they’re ac­tu­ally quite grate­ful that we’ve got sys­tems in place that are ac­tu­ally pro­tect­ing them.”


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