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.”
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— Christian Coleman (@__coleman) June 16, 2020