Christian Coleman disputes missed drug test that could bring suspension

Christian Coleman
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Christian Coleman, the world 100m champion, said he could be suspended after missing a drug test that he believes shouldn’t be a strike on his record.

Coleman tweeted Tuesday that he spent the last six months appealing a missed drug test from Dec. 9. Combined with a previous missed test and a previous filing failure (missing a test for failing to update his whereabouts), he could face a suspension for three strikes in a 12-month period.

Coleman called the Dec. 9 incident “a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which handles doping cases for track and field, has not commented on Coleman’s situation. It usually does not until and unless athletes are suspended.

Olympic-level athletes must be available for out-of-competition drug testing 365 days a year, providing their daily whereabouts to help drug testers find them. Coleman has never failed a drug test.

Coleman said the drug tester did not make an adequate attempt to find him on Dec. 9. The tester showed up at Coleman’s Kentucky residence in a gated apartment complex and knocked on his door every 10 minutes for an hour, but Coleman did not answer, according to the missed test report that Coleman posted.

Coleman said he was at a mall, five minutes away, Christmas shopping.

“I have multiple receipts of going shopping then getting food and coming back during this time so I don’t think he stayed for an hour,” Coleman said.

The tester “didn’t even bother to call me or attempt to reach me,” Coleman said, adding that the address on the missed test report was incorrect.

“Who knows if he even came to my spot,” he said.

No phone call was made “per client instructions,” according to the missed test report.

“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,” Coleman tweeted. “WHY WOULD AIU TELL HIM NOT TO CALL ME?!”

Coleman said he was drug tested two days later with normal protocol, including a phone call from the tester. He said every time he has been tested, he has received a phone call.

Last summer, Coleman was cleared in a case of missed tests when a violation was backdated, meaning the third strike came more than 12 months after the first one.

He continued competing — winning that world title to cement Olympic favorite status — with two strikes on his record from January and April. That meant another strike before Jan. 16, 2020, would be his third in a 12-month period and could result in a suspension.

“I have nothing to hide but it’s not possible to show that if I’m not even given a chance to,” Coleman tweeted. “I support USADA, WADA and the AIU to keep athletes and competition clean and fair. But the system must change.

“This process has caused me much stress, many panic attacks and a lot of anxiety. I’d much rather just share my phone location and they can pull up whenever, wherever.”

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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