Reigning world 100m champion Christian Coleman was provisionally suspended on Wednesday over a missed drugs test, putting him at risk of a two-year ban that would rule him out of next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Coleman, who only narrowly avoided being banned last year after three violations of anti-doping “whereabouts” rules across 2018 and 2019, said in a statement on Twitter that he was the victim of “a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test.”
The Athletics Integrity Unit has confirmed the 24-year-old has now been handed a provisional suspension, which could extend to a two-year ban if a charge is upheld. The American said he has been appealing the December 9 strike for six months on the grounds that he was ‘shopping five minutes away’ and testers ‘didn’t even bother to call me’.
In the rambling social media post, Coleman, who won the 100m world title in Doha under a cloud last year after escaping a previous whereabouts charge on a technicality, accepted in a lengthy social media post that he now faces a possible suspension. If that proves correct, he will almost certainly miss the Olympics.
In detailing the events, Coleman wrote: ‘I want to make you all aware of a situation I’m currently dealing with. 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 9, 2019.
‘And now this might result in me being suspended from other filing failures that occurred well over a year ago at this point.
‘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. Knocked while I was Christmas shopping 5 mins 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 and if I had received a phone call I could have taken the test and carried on with my night.’
In what seems to be a claim that the authorities were acting against him, Coleman added: ‘I think the attempt on December 9 was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test.’
Coleman posted the testing report from December 9, in which it details AIU testers visited his home in Lexington, Kentucky for an hour from 7.15pm. They knocked every 10 minutes and received no answer. Coleman suggested testers may have gone to the wrong house, posting: ‘He put down the wrong address (on the testing report) so who knows if he even came to my spot.’
Coleman went on: ‘I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested. Literally. (I don’t know) why this time was different. He even said he couldn’t hear the doorbell so why wouldn’t you call me?’
Coleman insists he has ‘never’ used performance enhancing drugs.
Under whereabouts rules, an athlete is expected to list where they will be for an hour of every day. Three missed tests or filing failures in a year will trigger a charge.
Coleman almost missed the world championships last year because of a whereabouts violation only for the US Anti-Doping Agency to drop its charges against him on the advice of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He controversially appeared to escape punishment in that instance because of a technicality under anti-doping rules, which state the date of a first missed test should be pushed back to the first day of a testing quarter.