Christian Coleman has had his ban for breaching anti-doping ‘whereabouts’ rules cut from two years to 18 months but the reigning world 100 metres champion will still miss this year’s Olympics.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport “partially upheld” Coleman’s appeal after the Athletics Integrity Unit last October found him guilty of two missed tests and one filing failure in 2019, leading to a ban until May 2022.
However, CAS ruled the 25-year-old United States sprinter, who won individual and relay gold at Doha 2019, had a “degree of negligence to be lower” than what was established as it reduced his ban to November this year.
The decision means he will still be absent for the rearranged Tokyo Games, which are due to run from July 23 to August 8, although he will be able to compete in both indoor and outdoor world championships next year.
Three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation and Coleman contended his last breach, but CAS insisted the American should have been on “high-alert” because of two strikes against him.
Coleman went out shopping during his designated one-hour time slot in December 2019 but he is adamant the tester made no attempt to contact him.
“Had the athlete been called by the doping control officer, he would have been able to return to his apartment during the 60-minute window and a test would have been concluded,” a CAS statement said.
“Although a telephone call during the 60-minute window was not required by the rules, it was nevertheless reasonable for the athlete to expect such a call, as a matter of standard practice among other doping control officers.
“In conclusion, the CAS panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility was the appropriate sanction in the circumstances.”