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Wednesday , November 25 2020

Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

MONACO, Oct 28, (AP): To believe that the evidence supporting Christian Coleman’s two-year ban from track is flawed is to believe that the 24-year-old sprinter really has redefined the title “World’s Fastest Man”.

In this Sept 28, 2019 file photo, Christian Coleman, of the United States, celebrates after crossing the line to win the gold medal in the men’s 100-meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. (AP)

It’s to believe that in the span of 29 minutes last Dec 9, Coleman bought dinner from a Chipotle near his house, hurried back home and ate it, watched the kickoff of “Monday Night Football”, then headed back out to a nearby Walmart, where he purchased 16 items and checked out.

“It would have been simply impossible,” a panel of arbitrators wrote Tuesday in delivering a two-year sanction that, if upheld, will keep the 100-meter world champion out of next year’s Olympics. Coleman’s agent, Emanuel Hudson, said the decision was “unfortunate and will be immediately appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport”.

The episode last year marked Coleman’s third violation in a 12-month span of the anti-doping “whereabouts” system, which is designed to streamline the ability for drug testers to reach the world’s best athletes without advance notice. It’s a system that, for years now, has befuddled and bedeviled Coleman, who last year escaped a sanction on a technicality that came about because of imprecise language in the anti-doping rulebook. He attempted to secure another reprieve – this time for the Dec 9, 2019, failure – by saying he had been out Christmas shopping but was, indeed, home during the 60-minute window he gave to authorities. But a key part of his alibi – that testers must have left his doorstep before the 7:15-8:15 window had run out – was disproved by nimble work from investigators.

They tracked down receipts from a shopping trip that began, they said, no later than 7:13 pm, and included stops at Chipotle (at 7:53 pm) and Walmart (at 8:22) near Coleman’s house. They coupled the receipts with a picture taken (at 8:21) by a tester sitting in his car in front of the house, added it all up and caught the sprinter in what appears to be an embarrassing lie. The arbitrators concluded that Coleman, instead of admitting fault, turned his wrath on the authorities, accused them of trying to trap him, “denied the offence, and persisted in an exculpatory version of events as to what happened … that is simply untrue.”

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