Athletics: Coleman wants apology from USADA over whereabouts charge

Sports

(Reuters) – Christian Coleman wants an apology from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) now that the body has dropped a whereabouts charge against him, the American sprinter said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 26, 2019; Des Moines, IA, USA; Christian Coleman wins 100m semifinal in 9.96 during the USATF Championships at Drake Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

In a lengthy video posted on YouTube ahead of the world championships in Doha, Coleman said the charge had damaged his reputation as a clean athlete and he had foregone over $150,000 in potential earnings to fight it.

“I can afford a lawyer and have the best people defending me but a lot of people don’t make a lot of money and if you’re a lower name you might get run over by USADA,” he said.

“I feel you can’t put a price on the fact I have to deal with this situation … and the smear of my reputation.”

The case had been scheduled to go to arbitration but USADA withdrew the charge after receiving guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on how to calculate the 12-month window for whereabouts breaches.

Coleman said he had forfeited over $150,000 by missing part of the European circuit to stay home and fight the charge.

“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.

Coleman, 23, claimed the silver medal in the 100 meters at the 2017 world titles in London, relegating Usain Bolt to third in the Jamaican’s final solo race.

Coleman explained why he had racked up three whereabouts violations, each the result of different situations.

“People don’t realize how easy it is to miss tests,” he said. “Sometimes you forget to update the app, but it has nothing to do with doping or trying to dodge tests.

“A lot of people have a misunderstanding of how the system works. I’m tested 30-40 times a year. It’s a crazy amount of times. I’m a human being. I forget sometimes.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom

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