2021 Olympic Games

Christian Coleman Blasts AIU While Announcing He's Facing Suspension

Christian Coleman Blasts AIU While Announcing He's Facing Suspension

The world's fastest man announced on Twitter that he's facing a suspension after a third whereabouts failure in a 12-month span.

Jun 16, 2020 by Lincoln Shryack
Christian Coleman Blasts AIU While Announcing He's Facing Suspension

Christian Coleman, the 2019 100m world champion and the fastest man in the world each of the last three outdoor seasons, tweeted on Tuesday that he has incurred his third whereabouts failure in a 12-month span, which constitutes an anti-doping violation.

The 24-year-old, who just last summer was facing a two-year suspension for whereabouts failures before the case was ultimately dropped by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), aired frustrations with the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for an alleged missed test on December 9, 2019, of which Coleman disputes the integrity. 

The U.S. star said he was out Christmas shopping at the time the doping control officer attempted to test him at his residence, but that he was not contacted by phone of the DCO’s presence. The AIU’s report states that the officer knocked on Coleman’s door every 10 minutes for an hour to try and perform the test, and Coleman says he has receipts and bank statements to back up that he was out shopping.

The sprinter says he was not notified of the attempted test until a day later when the AIU sent him the infraction notice.

“I was more than ready and available for testing and if I had received a phone call I could’ve taken the drug test and carried on with my night,” said Coleman.

“I was only made aware of this attempted drug test the next day on December 10, 2019 by the AIU when I got this failed attempt report out of nowhere.”

As of Tuesday, the AIU has not announced a provisional suspension yet for Coleman, but he said in his Twitter post than he has been appealing the decision for six months but that the AIU recently made a decision that the incident was a missed test. (Update: The AIU handed Coleman a provisional suspension on Wednesday)

“[N]ow this might result in me being suspended from other filing failures that occurred well over a year ago at this point,”he said.

Coleman’s other infractions were a missed test on January 16, 2019, and a filing failure on April 26, 2019. 

The sprinter, who wrote about the emotional and mental strain that trying to stay compliant with whereabouts rules has caused him over the years, accuses the AIU of “a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test,” in regards to his December 9 missed test.

“I thought the point of the organization was to keep the sport clean by testing everyone and catching cheaters.

Not attempt to catch people when they’re not home and make no attempt to actually test them and mess with the livelihoods of people who are clearly not doping,” Coleman wrote.

If a suspension is handed down, Coleman could miss the 2021 Tokyo Olympics if his penalty is not reduced.