World 100m champion Christian Coleman provisionally suspended over whereabouts failures

Omnisport

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman has been handed a provisional suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for whereabouts failures, the third of which he disputes.

Prior to the AIU, which runs World Athletics' anti-doping programme, announcing the ban, sprinter Coleman outlined in a lengthy Twitter post that his third missed drug test in the space of 12 months occurred on December 9 last year.

World Athletics rules stipulate that athletes will be guilty of a violation if they have a combination of three missed tests or filing failures across a 12-month period. Those found to be in contravention face up to a two-year ban.

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Coleman took responsibility for the first missed on January 16, 2019 and claimed the second on April 26 of the same year was due to "a filing failure".

The American said he was only notified of this third missed test on December 10, the following day, and questioned why he had not been contacted by phone, when he had been previously.

Coleman uploaded what he said was a screenshot of his "Unsuccessful Attempt Report". The additional comments claimed "multiple, loud knocks were made every 10 minutes for the entire hour period" and "there was also a doorbell that was pressed, but we could not hear a ring inside so [it was] unclear if it was in operation". The document also stated "no phone call was made per client instructions".

"I've been contacted by phone literally every other time I've been tested. Literally, Idk [I don't know] why this time was different," Coleman wrote.

"He even said he couldn't hear the doorbell so why wouldn't you call me? Why would AIU tell him not to contact me? He put down the wrong address btw [by the way] so who knows if he even came to my spot.

"That night I have multiple receipts of going shopping then getting food and coming back during this time, so I don't think he stayed for an hour and WHY WOULD AIU TELL HIM NOT TO CALL ME?!

"The AIU has to stop playing, man. Two days later they came back to test me…and followed the normal protocol and called and of course there were no issues with my test. And I've been tested multiple times since, even during quarantine.

"But of course that doesn't matter, and the fact that I have never taken drugs doesn't matter."

He added: "I think the attempt on December 9th was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test."

The AIU declined to comment directly on Coleman's allegation but highlighted its out-of-competition testing is conducted on a "no-advanced notice basis and instructions not to make any phone call to an athlete are given to doping control officers… (with limited exceptions)" as notification could provide an opportunity for tampering, evasion or other improper conduct.

It added that making a phone call is not a mandatory requirement under the World Anti-Doping Agency's International Standard for Testing and Investigations and the lack of one cannot be used in defence by an athlete.

Coleman was facing a two-year ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) prior to the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha due to whereabouts failures, but he had the charges withdrawn because of a filing irregularity regarding the date of the first missed test.

"I have never and will never 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."

He added: "I have no idea what I could've done to avoid this but my parents did get me a ring doorbell camera for Christmas so that should nip all and any miscommunication in the bud."

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