On Saturday night in Doha, Qatar at the IAAf World Athletics Championships Christian Coleman won gold in the Men’s 100 metre final with a time of 9.76 seconds which in turn makes him the sixth fastest man in the history of the event.
Coleman is an exceptional athlete and worthy of his recent title but the Championship win does come in the midst of some recent speculation and criticism of Coleman regarding missed drugs tests during the past 12 months. In that 12 month period Christian Coleman missed one drugs test and had two whereabouts failures, as he failed to inform the US Anti-Doping agency of his change in location at set times that they wished to meet with him. Under normal circumstances these three instances would have resulted in a ban for Coleman, which would have lead to him missing out on the opportunity to compete in Doha, however due to the fact that the Anti-Doping Agency had made a filing error in regards to the date of the first missed test it lead to them withdrawing the case which ultimately cleared Coleman to compete at the Championships.
Coleman faced questions over the issue at a press conference after his impressive victory in the Khalifa International Stadium but he has always been adamant that he has done nothing wrong, “I guess you are insinuating something happened but I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “I haven’t been careless. Everyone in this room has not been perfect. I am just a young black man living my dream, people are trying to smear my reputation.” He continued with “I have proved myself over the years to be a guy who does everything the right way. Now I’m a world champion and that’s something that nobody can ever take away from me.”
Following in behind Coleman were Canadian Andre De Grasse who took the bronze medal and Coleman’s fellow American Justin Gatlin, winning silver at the age of 37 years old. Gatlin who is a 100 metre Olympic Games Gold Medallist from 2004 in Athens and a multi time World Champion has himself previously served two doping bans, most recently a four year ban between August 2006 and August 2010 in which he accepted the charges and co-operated with the process.
With Athletics looking for a new star to carry the torch for the sport after the retirement of the charismatic Usain Bolt two years ago, it is concerning for some that the role may fall to an individual who has questions over performance enhancing drugs.