Christian Coleman: "We're human beings, people don't realise how easy it is to miss tests"
The American sprinter has spoken for the first time after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency withdrew a drug testing 'whereabouts' violation charge against him
Christian Coleman has taken to social media to speak publicly for the first time after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dropped a charge against him.
The American sprinter wrote on instagram: "I have never failed a drug test and never will. I'm the biggest advocate for clean sport because I know the sacrifice and what it takes to make it to this level,"
“I just feel like people don’t realise how easy it is to miss tests," he added in a 22-minute Youtube video.
"We’re human beings. And nobody’s perfect. People make mistakes." - Christian Coleman
Coleman had been due to face a hearing on September 4th, after being charged under anti-doping procedures for failing to properly file his whereabouts information on three occasions in a 12-month period.
But on September 2nd, USADA announced it had withdrawn the charge after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) clarified that the first violation should had been backdated two months.
The 23-year-old was facing a ban which could have kept him out of action until beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but now is free to take part in the 2019 IAAF World Championships taking place in Doha, Qatar, from 27 September to 6 October.
In the posts, Coleman explained why he recorded the three whereabouts failures.
He said that the first time, on 6 June 2018, he forgot to update his information because he was struggling to deal with an injury:
"I had never been hurt before, it was a traumatic experience," the 60m world record holder said.
"And so the first thing that comes to my mind is not updating my whereabouts."
The second failure came in January 2019, when he moved the time of his weight session by an hour and forgot to update his window in the online system.
But according to Coleman, he never received a call from the doping control officer, which had been claimed in an email she sent him a few days after the incident.
The third violation, on 26 April 2019, was explained as a 'filing failure', where the athlete didn't miss a test, but forgot to update his whereabouts when he decided to accompany his coach to an athletics meet in Des Moines, Iowa.
'We're human beings'
Coleman claimed the silver medal in the 100m race at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London and this June he ran the distance with the world-leading time of 9.81 seconds.
"There’s people out there calling me an idiot and people saying you gotta be stupid to miss tests and whatnot," Coleman said.
"I don’t know what people look at athletes as, but we’re human beings. And nobody’s perfect. People make mistakes. People have things going on in their life. People have stuff going on their head.
"And as you can imagine, I’m 23 years old, I travel around the world. I have things going on in my life. And the stress of being a professional athlete in general can definitely weigh heavy on your mind at that.
"So sometimes, you forget to update the app and it just it is what it is. But it has nothing to do with doping. It has nothing to do with trying to dodge tests.”
Coleman said the charges had damaged his reputation as a clean athlete and that he had to disrupt his preparation to fight the accusations:
"My plan was to run in these two meets and then go to world championships but I had to all of a sudden, at the drop of a dime, switch up my schedule," he said.
The athlete said he deserves an apology for over the issue, and believes that the system is "unfair":
"I’m tested like 30-40 times a year…it’s a crazy amount of times that I’m tested," the American added.
"Compared to other athletes, it’s an absurd amount."