Christian Coleman free to race for world gold after missed tests charge dropped | Sport



Christian Coleman, the fastest man in the world this year, is free to compete at the world championships in Doha later this month after the US Anti-Doping Agency dropped its charge against him on the advice of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The American sprinter, who leads the 100m world rankings with a best of 9.81sec this season, had faced a two-year ban after Usada charged him with failing to “properly file his whereabouts information” after missing three doping tests in 12 months.

Coleman appears to have escaped a ban on a technicality under anti-doping rules, which state the date of a first missed test should actually be pushed back to the first day of a testing quarter.

Usada said it had first recorded a filing failure on 6 June 2018 – when a doping control officer attempted to test Coleman and discovered he had failed to update his whereabouts to accurately reflect his location – and again on 16 January and 26 April 2019.

“Based on these three failures Usada initiated a case against Coleman for three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period,” it said in a statement. “However, based on a comment in the International Standard for Testing and Investigations that states that filing failures relate back to the first day of the quarter, Coleman contended his failure to update, which was discovered on 6 June, 2018, should relate back to 1 April, 2018, which would be more than 12 months prior to Coleman’s most recent whereabouts failure on 26 April, 2019.

“As a result Usada consulted with Wada to receive an official interpretation. This interpretation was received on Friday, 30 August, 2019, and was that the filing failure which Usada had recorded in June 2018 should relate back to April 1, 2018, the first day of the quarter in which the failure to update occurred.

The Usada chief executive, Travis Tygart, said his organisation accepted the ruling. “Consistent application of the global anti-doping rules is essential in every case,” he said. “We must approach every case with the primary goal of delivering fairness to athletes under the rules and providing transparency and consistency in order to build their trust and support for the anti-doping system.”

“Every athlete is entitled to a presumption of innocence until their case is concluded through the established legal process. This is certainly the case for Mr Coleman, who has been found by Usada not to have committed a whereabouts violation and is fully eligible to compete under the rules.”

Last month Coleman, who has been tested on 20 occasions between 2018 and 2019 and still has two missed tests on his record, said he had done nothing wrong. “I’m not a guy who takes any supplements at all, so I’m never concerned about taking drug tests, at any time.”