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Doping-Sprint star Coleman to miss Olympics after being banned for whereabouts failure

Credit: REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman will miss next year's Tokyo Olympics after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

Adds details from statement

Oct 27 (Reuters) - World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman will miss next year's Tokyo Olympics after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended by the AIU in June.

The American sprinter had claimed at the time that anti-doping officials had not followed procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping on Dec. 9, 2019 at a time when he had said he would be at home.

Doping control officers testified before a disciplinary tribunal that they were present during the whole of the allotted hour of 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm on Dec. 9 in front of Coleman's house.

Coleman in turn testified that he had arrived home from Christmas shopping shortly before the end of the one-hour period.

However, shopping receipts showed that Coleman had purchased 16 items from a Walmart Supercenter at 8:22 pm, the AIU said.

"We do not accept the Athlete's evidence," the AIU added in a statement on its website. "It is obvious that in fact the athlete did not go home until after making his 8:22 pm purchase. We are comfortably satisfied that this is what happened."

The AIU added that Coleman's ban would end on May 13, 2022 and that he could appeal the tribunal's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Three failures to properly file whereabouts information or being absent during the hour stated in a 12-month period can result in a one- or two-year suspension.

Coleman, also a silver medallist in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2017 worlds, escaped suspension last year when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), after receiving guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on how to calculate the 12-month window for three missed tests, withdrew the charge.

The sprinter, who also helped the United States to 4x100m gold at the 2019 worlds in Doha, later demanded an apology from USADA, but two of those misses have now combined with the latest failure to result in a ban.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

((simon.jennings@thomsonreuters.com; +91 8061822672;))

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