The likelihood that the world’s fastest man, American sprinter Christian Coleman, might miss the Olympics next summer increased Wednesday when he received a provisional suspension for failing to be home when drug testers showed up last year. Coleman, the reigning world champion at 100 meters, said his latest flare-up with the anti-doping system stemmed from a miscommunication that could have easily been resolved with a phone call from the doping-control officer who came to his house on Dec. 9. He said he was Christmas shopping at a nearby mall at the time. It was his third whereabouts infraction in a 12-month span and could carry a ban of up to two years, the AP reports. His path to the starting line at the Tokyo Games may now be through a hearing room.
Coleman's argument is being undercut, in part, by the fact that he was well aware of the ins and outs of the "whereabouts rule" because of a case against him that was dropped last year, before this latest incident. The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles anti-doping cases for World Athletics, said phone calls are not part of its testing protocol because they can make it easier for athletes to manipulate the testing process. Coleman's status going forward remains murky. According to the AIU website, his provisional suspension is listed as May 14, 2020—13 months before the start of US Olympic Trials. Before the missed test in December, Coleman mentioned being more attentive about updating his whereabouts.
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