20th Apr 2021
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the American sprinter Christian Coleman and World Athletics relating to the decision issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit on 19 December 2020 in which Christian Coleman was found guilty of committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period) and a 24-month period of ineligibility was imposed on him.
Mr Coleman’s appeal was partially upheld and he will serve a reduced period of ineligibility of 18 months as from 14 May 2020. The CAS panel found Mr Coleman had committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, but found the athlete’s degree of negligence to be lower than that determined by the AIU. Mr Coleman was not at home during the 60-minute time slot on the day of the out-of-competition doping control, as he should have been, and the athlete should have been on ‘high-alert’ on that day, given the two existing whereabout failures against him. On the other hand, had the athlete been called by the Doping Control Officer, he would have been able to return to his apartment during the 60-minute window and a test would have been concluded. Although a telephone call during the 60-minute window was not required by the rules, it was nevertheless reasonable in the particular circumstances of this case for the athlete to expect such a call. In the result, the CAS panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility was the appropriate sanction.
The CAS panel was composed of Mr James Drake QC, Mr Jeffrey Benz, and Prof. Ulrich Haas. James Drake QC was president of the panel.