100-Meter Dash World Champion Suspended After Missing Drug Test: 'This Isn't Justice'

Christian Coleman, an American, won the 100-meter title at 2019's world championships

Christian Coleman
Photo: Harry How/Getty

Christian Coleman, known as the world's current fastest man, has just been slowed down.

The 24-year-old American sprinter, who won the 100-meter title at the 2019 world championships, was temporarily banned from competition by the Athletics Integrity Unit on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The organization's website lists the reason for his suspension as "whereabouts failures" following a missed drug test in December.

In a lengthy Twitter post on Tuesday, Coleman addressed the ban, saying he would have been home for the test if the AIU notified him beforehand. Instead, officials allegedly arrived while he was shopping for Christmas presents "five minutes away" at a local mall.

"I was more than ready and available for testing and if I had received a phone call, I could've taken the drug test and carried on with my night," Coleman wrote.

"I was only made aware of this attempted drug test the next day," he continued, "when I got this failed attempt report out of nowhere. I was completely unaware anybody tried to test me the day before."

The Atlanta native said he kept bank statements and receipts to prove where he was when officials arrived.

According to the Los Angeles Times, elite athletes must list their locations for an hourlong window each day and can be penalized if they fail to submit their whereabouts in the event testers arrive. Coleman previously missed other tests with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the AP reported. The agency eventually dropped its case due to a technicality.

"I think the attempt on December 9th was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test," Coleman wrote on Twitter.

"I have never and will never use performance enhancing supplements or drugs," he said. "I am willing to take a drug test EVERY single day for the rest of my career for all I care to prove my innocence."

While the USADA occasionally calls athletes ahead of testing, the AIU believes doing so could hinder the effectiveness of the tests, the Times noted.

Coleman is considered a favorite to win gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which will now be held next July after they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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In his post, Coleman called for changes to the anti-doping system, saying, "this isn’t justice for anybody."

"I’ve been tested multiple times since, even during quarantine,” he wrote. "But of course that doesn’t matter, and the fact that I have never taken drugs doesn’t matter either."

"I haven’t been careless," he said after winning the gold medal at the world championships in September, according to the AP. "I think I can just be more mature about it, more diligent about updating the app. But I mean, I think everybody in this room is not perfect. Everybody has made mistakes. Going forward, I just try to do a better job about being more diligent about it."

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