20th April 2021
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) welcomes the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today that Christian Coleman of the USA has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules and shall serve a period of ineligibility of 18-months from 14 May 2020.
In October last year, the independent Disciplinary Tribunal had banned Mr Coleman for two-years. The athlete appealed against the decision at CAS and, following a hearing, the CAS panel reduced the suspension to 18 months. The panel rejected Mr Coleman’s claim to have returned home during the 60-minute testing window on 9 December 2019 as ‘untenable’ and found that his conduct in failing to return home from his shopping trip was ‘negligent’. Nevertheless, the panel decided to reduce the period of ineligibility by 6 months based on its assessment of Mr Coleman’s degree of fault. Mr Coleman remains ineligible to compete until 14 November 2021.
Brett Clothier, Head of the AIU, said: “We welcome the decision in this case. No notice out of competition testing is a fundamental pillar of the World Anti-Doping Code and is only possible with strict enforcement of whereabouts requirements. The decision confirms that athletes must take their whereabouts responsibilities seriously and be present at their indicated location during their daily 60-minute testing slot. It is not sufficient for athletes to be near their indicated location and to rely on being called by the doping control officer. The whereabouts requirements apply to all elite athletes around the world in equal measure.”