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Sprinter Christian Coleman Barred From Tokyo Olympics

  • April 16, 2021

Coleman’s final strike occurred on Dec. 9, 2020, when two doping control officers arrived at his home in a gated community in Lexington, Ky., at 7:09 p.m. Coleman had said he would be home from 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Instead of calling Coleman’s home on the security keypad, which Coleman contended he would have heard, they walked through an open gate and knocked on his door.

Coleman did not answer. The officers waited for an hour and left.

Coleman testified that he was out Christmas shopping and picking up a takeout meal near his home during the hour and that if a doping control officer had called he could have gotten home within five minutes, even though that is not how the process works.

In a statement, the court noted that Coleman should have been on “high-alert on that day, given the two existing whereabouts failures against him.” The court said, though, that if the officers had called Coleman, he would have been able to return home within the 60-minute window. A phone call, the panel noted, is “a matter of standard practice among other Doping Control Officers.”

Coleman’s absence creates a wide-open race for the three American spots in the 100-meter field at the Tokyo Games, which is always one of the toughest events to qualify for from the United States. Justin Gatlin was the last champion from the United States in the event, in 2004, but Gatlin has sullied that gold medal with two bans for doping during his career.

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