On Wednesday, American runner and defending 100-meter world champion was temporarily banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for missing a string of doping tests. He was an early favorite for the event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The suspension will continue until a hearing under the World Athletics Anti-Doping rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct takes place, when a final decision will be made, according to the Associated Press. This charge could result in a two-year ban, which would remove Coleman from participating in the next Olympics.
The sprinter wrote a long post on Twitter explaining his side:
"Don't tell me I 'missed' a test if you sneak up on my door (parked outside the gate and walked through ... there's no record of anyone coming into my place) without my knowledge. Knocked while I was Christmas shopping 5 min away at the mall (I have receipts and bank statements) and didn't even bother to call me or attempt to reach me. I was more than ready and available for testing and if I had received a phone call I could've taken a drug test and carried on with my night."
This is Coleman's third infraction in 12 months and is the second time he has faced a ban for a whereabouts violation.
Coleman says he received calls the other times he was tested and claims that "the attempt on December 9th was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test."
The AIU says calls ahead of a test are not a requirement, according to the AP, explaining, "Any advanced notice of testing, in the form of a phone call or otherwise, provides an opportunity for athletes to engage in tampering or evasion or other improper conduct which can limit the efficacy of testing."
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules, "proof that a telephone call was made is not a requisite element of a missed test and the lack of any telephone call does not give the athlete a defense to the assertion of a missed test."
Coleman's previous missed tests were with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rather than the AUI. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency handbook says phone calls tend to occur in the final minutes of a time slot to "confirm the unavailability of the athlete, not to locate an athlete for testing."
Coleman maintained his innocence, saying, "I have never and will never use performance enhancing supplements or drugs. 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."