Athletics

Lyles happy to see Coleman cleared over missed doping tests

Noah Lyles competes in mens 200m on July 05, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Marco Mantovani/Getty Images)
Noah Lyles competes in mens 200m on July 05, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Marco Mantovani/Getty Images)

Brussels  - American Noah Lyles hailed Christian Coleman's exoneration from alleged doping violations as great news for the US team at the world championships that start later this month in Doha.

Coleman, the fastest man over 100m this year, had faced a potential two-year suspension after drug testers reported they were unable to locate him on three separate occasions in a 12-month period.

However the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dropped the case after determining that the time-frame exceeded the specified one-year period.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which monitors anti-doping efforts said it would not appeal the decision as did the Athletics Integrity Unity, set up by the IAAF as an independent body to police doping in track and field.

"Well, I'm glad to see him running again. I don't wish ill upon anybody," Lyles said ahead of Friday's Diamond League final in Brussels.

"I'm happy that we can have a strong team going for the US in the 100m."

Lyles, 22, admitted that he relies on his mother to input his "whereabouts" details to USADA at the start of each quarter.

"I started when I was 17, I swear I was one of the youngest on the USADA list, I wasn't even a pro," said the sprinter who became the fourth fastest of all time over 200m with his 19.50sec in Lausanne.

"The scariest thing on my mind was the fact that if I missed three I could be gone for a year and I absolutely didn't want that."

Lyles admitted, however, to having missed one home visit by anti-doping officials.

"It was in 2017 when I put in p.m. instead of a.m.! So I'm expecting them in the morning, I went out with my friends for dinner and I came back and saw a mail saying I'd missed a test."

Lyles' teammate Michael Norman, who has run 19.70 and 43.45sec in the 200 and 400m this season respectively and will race the 400m in Brussels and the Doha worlds, has never missed a test, saying: "You have to be conscious of where you're going.

"Sometimes it's a pain, but once you get into the groove, you kind of understand what to do and when.

"Sometimes you can forget, sometimes it gets a little bit tedious."

Greece's world and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi said the provision of whereabouts details was "really not that difficult".

"It does add some stress, especially at the beginning," she said.

"But I think it's part of the job and you learn how to do it, and the older you get the easier it gets."

US long jumper Brittney Reese, Olympic champion and a seven-time world gold medallist, acknowledged that it was "really easy to miss one", while Belgian heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam admitted missing one test after she slept over at a friend's house and forgot to notify officials.

"It was very stressful at the time," said Thiam, the world and Olympic gold medallist.

"I think it's hard to do a whole career and never miss one."

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