(Reuters) – World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Wednesday and could miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after violating anti-doping whereabouts rules.
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – World Athletics Championships – Doha 2019 – Men’s 4×100 Metres Relay Final – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – October 5, 2019 Christian Coleman of the U.S. before the race REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo
The American sprinter, in a lengthy statement on Twitter on Tuesday, said he could be hit with a ban from the AIU after missing a test on Dec. 9, 2019.
Three failures to properly file whereabouts information in a 12-month period can result in a one- or two-year suspension.
“The AIU confirms a provisional suspension against Christian Coleman of the USA for whereabouts failures, a violation of the @WorldAthletics Anti-Doping Rules,” the AIU said in a tweet.
Coleman, who also helped the United States to 4x100m gold at the World Championships in Doha, acknowledged the failure would count as his third in a 12-month span but said he was willing to take responsibility for only one.
“I want to make you all aware of a situation I’m currently dealing with,” Coleman said. “A few days ago, the AIU came to a decision that I’ve been appealing for six months that I missed a test on December 9th, 2019.
“And now this might result in me being suspended from other filing failures that occurred well over a year ago at this point.”
The two other failures occurred on January 16, 2019 and April 26, 2019.
The sprinter said he was out Christmas shopping on December 9 accusing anti-doping agents of setting a trap to get him.
“Don’t tell me I “missed” a test if you sneak up on my door (parked outside the gate and walked through…there’s no record of anyone coming to my place) without my knowledge,” said Coleman. “Knocked while I was Christmas shopping five minutes away at the mall (I have receipts and bank statements) and didn’t even bother to call me or attempt to reach me.
“I was more than ready and available for testing if I had received a phone call,” adding he believed it was “a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test.”
Coleman, a double silver medallist in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2017 worlds in London, escaped suspension last year when USADA, after receiving guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on how to calculate the 12-month window, withdrew the charge.
The sprinter later demanded an apology from USADA.
“I have never and never will use performance-enhancing supplements or drugs,” said Coleman. “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.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis and Lincoln Feast.