There have been many fun performances this month in track, but one athlete will have to wait to compete until this fall. Christian Coleman was hit with a ban that started on May 14, 2020, last year. The ban resulted from failing to appear for three separate anti-doping tests. This has since put the 2019 100m World Champion in a tough spot concerning the Tokyo Olympics. The ban was originally set to last two years.
Now, after Coleman appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, his sentence will be reduced. Now, he will only have to serve 18-months instead of 24. That still leaves Tokyo out of the question and a return not possible until after November 2021.
Here is part of a statement Coleman released through his lawyer:
“While I appreciate that the arbitrators correctly found that I am a clean athlete, I am obviously disappointed that I will miss the Olympic Games this summer.”
Doping cases have always torn the running world in two. Fan-favorite (to love and hate) Justin Gatlin has served two bans that resulted from doping or related activity. Gatlin is a favorite to make the Tokyo team for the USA this year. Some think one-and-done you should be lifetime banned while others believe in a restorative approach. While Coleman never tested positive for banned substances, he missed enough tests to bring this ban and suspicions abound.
The Athletics Integrity Unit commented that he had three whereabouts failures over the course of a year. They referred to the Nike athlete’s “attitude to his obligations…entirely careless, perhaps even reckless.” They accused him of essentially being negligent of his duties to report to the tests. The CAS panel found no evidence that he attempted to avoid being tested either.
Coleman will look forward to competing in the 2022 World Championships, indoor and outdoor, and looks forward to competing against whoever the Olympic Champion is this year. The AIU’s decision was probably too harsh, to begin with, and until Coleman is tested positive for banned substances he is clean as far as anyone else should be concerned.