100-metre world champion Christian Coleman to miss Olympics despite reduced ban
American sprinter's ban cut from 2 years to 18 months, but won't end until November
American sprinter Christian Coleman will miss the Tokyo Olympics after failing Friday in an appeal to overturn his ban for missed doping tests.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport cut the 100-metre world champion's ban from two years to 18 months, but it won't expire until November, three months after the Olympics.
The panel of three judges said 18 months "was the appropriate sanction in the circumstances" because Coleman was not entirely at fault for one of his three missed tests in a one-year period.
They said it was "reasonable for the athlete to expect" a telephone call from a sample collection official to return to his apartment during the 60-minute period he said he would be available on Dec. 9, 2019.
A call such as that is not required within the anti-doping rules, the judges acknowledged. One of the three CAS judges, German law professor Ulrich Haas, helped write the updated World Anti-Doping Code.
The court also noted Coleman "should have been on 'high-alert' on that day, given the two existing 'whereabout' failures against him."
Coleman said he was disappointed that he would miss the Summer Games.
"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," said Coleman in a statement to Reuters.
He said he would now focus on next year's world championships, which will be staged in the United States for the first time.
"I look forward to representing the United States at both world championships in 2022, especially the first ever world championships held in the United States next summer where I plan to defend my world title against a new Olympic champion in the 100 meters."
WATCH | Coleman sprints to gold at world championships
Coleman had challenged the two-year ban imposed last October by the Athletics Integrity Unit. Athletes can be banned for two years if they have three failures — missed tests or contact details not updated where officials can find them each day — within one year.
The 25-year-old Coleman will be clear to compete in the 2022 season, which includes the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Coleman won the 2019 world title in Doha, Qatar, after being cleared on a technicality to run because of missed tests.
"I'm just really blessed the situation was resolved," Coleman said in September 2019 ahead of the worlds. "I'm just a regular guy who had talent and the wherewithal to be able to hone that into something I can make money doing."
He ran the three fastest 100 times in the world in 2019, topped by his gold medal-winning 9.76 seconds in Doha. That was the fastest 100-metre time in more than four years.
With files from Reuters