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Christian Coleman cleared in drug-testing case

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Christian Coleman, the world’s fastest man each of the last three years, was cleared in a case of missed drug tests that could have kept him out of the Olympics.

Coleman contested an anti-doping rule violation of missing three drug tests in a span of 12 months. Normally, that violation carries at least a one-year ban, even though the athlete may never have tested positive for a banned substance.

However, Coleman’s violation was withdrawn because his first missed test on June 6, 2018, was backdated to April 1, 2018. USADA said in a press release that the violation was for a filing failure (not updating his whereabouts for drug testers to find him), and April 1 was the first day of the quarter he failed to update.

That backdating meant the third whereabouts failure, on April 26, 2019, came more than 12 months after the first one. Coleman has an otherwise clean drug-testing record.

“I’m not a guy who takes any supplements at all, so I’m never concerned about taking drug tests, at any time,” Coleman said in a statement two weeks ago. USADA said it has tested Coleman 20 times in 2018-19.

Coleman said two weeks ago that he had a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday concerning the matter, which USADA said is now no longer necessary.

Now, he is cleared to run at the world championships later this month, where he is favored in the 100m and a medal contender in the 200m.

“We must approach every case with the primary goal of delivering fairness to athletes under the rules and providing transparency and consistency,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in the release. “Consistent application of the global anti-doping rules is essential in every case. In this case, we applied the rules to Mr. Coleman in the manner that USADA understands should be applied to any other international-level athlete.”

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USOPC seeks to revoke USA Badminton’s status

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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland filed a complaint to revoke USA Badminton’s status as the national governing body for the sport, a year after a USOPC audit found the organization lacked athlete safety requirements.

USA Badminton “failed to meet its responsibilities as an NGB and consistently failed to meet its obligations to its members and to U.S. athletes,” according to the USOPC. “Further, USAB has failed to conduct itself in a manner that demonstrates it can fulfill those responsibilities.”

Asked for reaction, USA Badminton interim CEO Linda French said, “I’m very disappointed in the USOPC and the conduct of their staff.”

USA Badminton recently had mass resignations among its board and top officials amid governance issues and the USOPC threatening decertification. A 2018 USOPC audit found four “high risk” areas in USA Badminton’s athlete safety and SafeSport compliance that, by March, had not been fully resolved.

“We have attempted to work with USAB’s leadership over the course of the last year to address our concerns, however those efforts have not yielded the results necessary to give me confidence in USAB’s ability to continue to serve its athletes as an NGB,” Hirshland wrote. “We remain committed to working with USAB’s leadership to address our concerns but have so far not found a willing partner.”

The next step is for Hirshland to appoint an independent panel to hear the complaint. There is no specific timeline for a resolution, though Hirshland said it will take a minimum of several weeks.

If USA Badminton’s status is revoked, the USOPC would assume control on an interim basis.

Last November, the USOPC filed the same complaint against USA Gymnastics, seeking to revoke its status after the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes came to light followed by several leadership changes.

USA Gymnastics since filed for bankruptcy and named former college gymnast and NBA executive Li Li Leung its new CEO in February. It remains the sport’s NGB with eight months until the Tokyo Olympics.

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Sun Yang should get lengthy ban if he loses doping hearing, WADA says

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency wants China’s star swimmer Sun Yang banned for up to eight years for alleged doping rules violations.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday ahead of a rare appeal hearing in open court on Friday that WADA requests a ban of two to eight years. Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 for a positive test.

If WADA wins, the three-time Olympic freestyle champion will miss the Tokyo Games.

WADA has challenged world swimming body FINA’s ruling to merely warn Sun after a disputed attempt by sample collectors to take blood and urine from him at his home in China in September 2018. The late-night confrontation lasted from 11 p.m. to beyond 3:30 a.m.

The day-long hearing will examine why a secure box storing a glass vial of blood came to be destroyed by Sun’s entourage, who questioned the sample team’s authority. A FINA tribunal panel agreed the officials lacked proper credentials to make the sample collection valid.

WADA believes Sun broke anti-doping rules by refusing to submit to a sample collection.

All sides agreed to Sun’s request to hold a first CAS appeal in public for 20 years.

A verdict is unlikely until early next year.

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