World’s fastest man will not be at the Olympics next year after breaking anti-doping ‘whereabouts’ rules

Christian Coleman, the world 100m champion, will miss the Tokyo Olympics after being given a two-year ban after missing three drugs tests.

Coleman, who also holds the world indoor 60m record, narrowly escaped a ban last year on a technicality after missing three doping tests and then was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit in June this year.

The 24-year-old American argued he missed one of his tests because he was near his house Christmas shopping, but a panel disputed his story and has banned him until May 13, 2022.

Coleman did not contest his first missed test on January 16 last year but disputed a filing failure (where he submitted incorrect information) on April 26, 2019, and a whereabouts failure on December 9.

For that latter test Coleman showed shopping receipts from Walmart to prove he was near his house and said that he returned home shortly before the end of the one-hour testing window. But anti-doping testers said they waited for the whole hour in front of his house.

There is no suggestion Coleman has taken a banned substance but the out-of-competition testing rules say that athletes are accountable for missed tests if they are not at their specified location for the one-hour period they have stated.

The Athletics Integrity Unit verdict reads: “The athlete’s evidence was that he was out (Christmas) shopping. Though, he stated that he arrived home shortly before the end of the one-hour period, because he recalled watching the kick-off of the Monday night football game, which started at 8:15pm. His case was that the DCO (doping control officer) must have left slightly before the end of the 60-minute time slot and he must have just missed him.

“Shopping receipts show that the athlete was shopping at least from 7:13pm, also purchased a chipotle at 7:53pm and finally purchased 16 items from a Walmart Supercenter at 8:22pm. The athlete’s evidence was that he returned home briefly sometime between 8:00pm and 8:10pm, ate his chipotle while watching the kick-off, then went out again. We do not accept the athlete’s evidence.”

The AIU added their testing officers “both gave clear evidence that they were present throughout the period between 7:15pm and 8:15pm, standing directly in front of the athlete’s apartment. They stated that they would undoubtedly have noticed if the athlete had driven up and entered the apartment, whether through the front or garage door.”

The AIU added it was “simply impossible” for Coleman to have bought a chipotle at 7:53pm (at least five minutes away from his home) and to return home, park his car, go in his house, eat the food, watch the start of the football game at 8:15pm and then go out again in his car to buy things from Walmart, which he paid for at 8:22pm.

He would also have had to walk past the doping control officers and the lights in his house were never turned on. “It is obvious that in fact the athlete did not go home until after making his 8:22pm purchase,” the AIU concluded. “We are comfortably satisfied that this is what happened.”

Coleman can now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

You can read the full verdict from the AIU here.

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