Coleman appeals against 2-year ban

Coleman appeals against 2-year ban

LAUSANNE • Christian Coleman has appealed against his ban for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Thursday.

The CAS said it had registered the appeal after he was banned for two years by the Athletics Integrity Unit’s (AIU) Disciplinary Tribunal last month. A date has not been set for the hearing.

“In his appeal to the CAS, Christian Coleman requests that the decision of the AIU Disciplinary Tribunal… be set aside and that the sanction be eliminated or, in the alternative, reduced,” it said in a statement.

Under the so-called whereabouts rule, elite athletes must make themselves available for random out-of-competition testing, and state a location and one-hour window where they can be found on any given day.

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.

The world 100m champion said at the time of his provisional suspension that anti-doping officials had not followed procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping last year at a time when he indicated he would be at home.

But doping control officers testified that they were present during the whole of the allotted hour in front of his house.

The American claimed he had arrived home from Christmas shopping shortly before the end of the one-hour period. However, shopping receipts showed that he had purchased 16 items from a Walmart Supercentre on Dec 9 at 8.22pm, seven minutes after the allotted hour was up.

Should the ban remain in place, the 24-year-old will miss next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he would have been among the favourites to win the 100m gold medal.

Coleman’s compatriot and 2004 Athens Games gold medallist Justin Gatlin did not compete in the Beijing Olympics four years later after incurring a four-year doping ban, making him the last 100m champion who did not defend his title.

The CAS also said it had registered an appeal relating to world 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser, with World Athletics contesting the decision of the AIU’s Disciplinary Tribunal to clear the Bahraini of committing an anti-doping rule violation by missing out-of-competition tests.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE