Cole­man sus­pended for miss­ing dop­ing tests

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - DÜS­SEL­DORF, GER­MANY (AP):

THE FASTEST man in the world has been side­lined for a string of missed dop­ing tests.

Chris­tian Cole­man, an Amer­i­can sprinter who won the 100m ti­tle at last year’s World Cham­pi­onships and had been the early favourite for the Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games, was tem­po­rar­ily banned from com­pe­ti­tion by the Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit (AIU) yesterday.

The AIU up­dated its list of ath­letes on pro­vi­sional sus­pen­sion to in­clude Cole­man, hours af­ter he re­vealed de­tails of the case. The sus­pen­sion will last un­til a fi­nal de­ci­sion is reached at a hear­ing con­ducted un­der World Ath­let­ics Anti-Dop­ing rules or the In­tegrity

Code of Con­duct.

Cole­man had a pre­vi­ous where­abouts charge dropped last year ahead of the World Cham­pi­onships. But his cur­rent charge could lead to a two-year ban, rul­ing him out of next year’s post­poned Olympics.

Cole­man wrote on Twit­ter that drug testers were un­able to find him De­cem­ber 9 while he was shop­ping at a nearby mall for Christ­mas presents. That was his third in­frac­tion in a 12-month pe­riod.

Cole­man asked why he didn’t re­ceive a phone call when the testers were un­able to find him, say­ing he had re­ceived calls “ev­ery other time” he was tested.

“I think the at­tempt on

De­cem­ber 9th was a pur­pose­ful at­tempt to get me to miss a test,” he wrote.


The AIU said a phone call wasn’t a re­quire­ment and that it usu­ally asks em­ploy­ees not to call ath­letes be­cause that could un­der­mine the test­ing pro­gramme.

“Any ad­vanced no­tice of test­ing, in the form of a phone call or oth­er­wise, pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for ath­letes to en­gage in tam­per­ing or eva­sion or other im­proper con­duct which can limit the ef­fi­cacy of test­ing,” the AIU said in an emailed state­ment.

Some of Cole­man’s ear­lier missed tests were not with the

AIU, but with the US Anti-Dop­ing Agency, whose own hand­book for ath­letes says phone calls are usu­ally re­served only for the last five min­utes of a time slot and “to con­firm the un­avail­abil­ity of the ath­lete, not to lo­cate an ath­lete for test­ing”.

Ath­letes are re­quired to list their where­abouts for an hour each day when they must be avail­able to be tested. A vi­o­la­tion means an ath­lete ei­ther did not fill out forms telling au­thor­i­ties where they could be found, or that they weren’t where they said they would be when testers ar­rived.

It’s the sec­ond time Cole­man has faced a po­ten­tial ban for a where­abouts vi­o­la­tion.

Cole­man won the 10m at the World Cham­pi­onships in Doha, Qatar, last Septem­ber af­ter the US

Anti-Dop­ing Agency dropped his case for missed tests be­cause of a tech­ni­cal­ity.

“I have never and will never use per­for­mance en­hanc­ing sup­ple­ments or drugs,” Cole­man wrote Tues­day. “I am will­ing to take a drug test EV­ERY sin­gle day for the rest of my ca­reer, for all I care, to prove my in­no­cence.”

Af­ter win­ning the gold medal in Doha, Cole­man said he needed to be more care­ful to keep track of his where­abouts.

Cole­man is the lat­est in a string of run­ners hit with where­abouts charges in 2020.

The AIU filed a sim­i­lar charge this month against women’s 400m world cham­pion Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain.


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