US sprinter Coleman's suspension cut to 18 months

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Christian Coleman. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Coleman. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

World 100m champion Christian Coleman's two-year ban for missing three doping tests has been reduced by six months to 18 months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Friday.

The 25-year-old American will still miss the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics this year as his ban runs until November 14.

Coleman will, however, be eligible to defend his world indoor and outdoor titles next year.

CAS "partially upheld" the Athletics Integrity Unit's ruling but found Coleman's "degree of negligence to be lower".

In the ruling in December last year, Coleman was suspended by the AIU for two years from May 14, 2020 after failing to turn up for tests three times in a 12-month-period.

"Christian Coleman's appeal was partially upheld and he will serve a reduced period of ineligibility of 18 months as from May 14, 2020," the Lausanne-based CAS said in a statement.

The appeals court for sports said its panel had determined that Coleman had committed an anti-doping rule violation but it said it "found the athlete's degree of negligence to be lower than that established" in the previous ruling.

Coleman, it said, was "not at home during the 60-minute time slot on the day of the out-of-competition doping control" on December 9, 2019.

He "should have been on 'high-alert' on that day, given the two existing whereabout failures against him", CAS added.

Coleman has argued he was Christmas shopping on that day and that he was "five minutes away" from home.

CAS said that "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 for the athlete to expect such a call, as a matter of standard practice among other doping control officers," it ruled.

The CAS panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility "was the appropriate sanction in the circumstances."

To prove an anti-doping violation, an athlete has to have committed three 'whereabouts' failures within 12 months.

Coleman did not contest his first missed test in January 2019 but disputed his filing failure on April 2019 and the crucial third whereabouts failure on 9 December.

The American, who is also the 60 metres world record holder, previously escaped suspension on a technicality ahead of the 2019 World Championships in Qatar where he won the 100m title in a time of 9.76sec.

He will be eligible to compete in the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

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