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Christian Coleman cleared in drug-testing case

2019 USATF Outdoor Championships

DES MOINES, IOWA - JULY 27: Christian Coleman competes in the opening round of the 200 meter during the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Christian Coleman, the world’s fastest man each of the last three years, was cleared in a case of missed drug tests that could have kept him out of the Olympics.

Coleman contested an anti-doping rule violation of missing three drug tests in a span of 12 months. Normally, that violation carries at least a one-year ban, even though the athlete may never have tested positive for a banned substance.

However, Coleman’s violation was withdrawn because his first missed test on June 6, 2018, was backdated to April 1, 2018. USADA said in a press release that the violation was for a filing failure (not updating his whereabouts for drug testers to find him), and April 1 was the first day of the quarter he failed to update.

That backdating meant the third whereabouts failure, on April 26, 2019, came more than 12 months after the first one. Coleman has an otherwise clean drug-testing record.

“I’m not a guy who takes any supplements at all, so I’m never concerned about taking drug tests, at any time,” Coleman said in a statement two weeks ago. USADA said it has tested Coleman 20 times in 2018-19.

Coleman said two weeks ago that he had a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday concerning the matter, which USADA said is now no longer necessary.

Now, he is cleared to run at the world championships later this month, where he is favored in the 100m and a medal contender in the 200m.

“We must approach every case with the primary goal of delivering fairness to athletes under the rules and providing transparency and consistency,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in the release. “Consistent application of the global anti-doping rules is essential in every case. In this case, we applied the rules to Mr. Coleman in the manner that USADA understands should be applied to any other international-level athlete.”

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