U.S. sprinter Christian Coleman has said he wants an apology from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after the body dropped a whereabouts charge against him, the sprinter said Wednesday.
Coleman is the reigning U.S. champion and a favorite in the 100 meters, a distance at which he holds the world-leading time over the past three years, but almost faced a potential two-year doping ban after failing to provide his whereabouts for for drug testing on three separate occasions.
In a lengthy video posted on YouTube ahead of the world championships in Doha, Coleman said the dropped charge had damaged his reputation as a clean athlete and that 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," Coleman 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."
Coleman, 23, faced a possible sanction for three "whereabouts failures" over a 12-month period, meaning that he either did not fill out forms telling authorities where he could be found, or he wasn't where he said he'd be when they came to test.
The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) interpretation of the rule backdated his first failure to April 1, 2018, instead of the date it actually occurred, June 6, 2018. His final failure was April 26, 2019.
USADA later said that it would be unable to pursue the case because Coleman's three "whereabouts failures" took place over a period greater than 12 months.
Coleman has hit back at critics via Instagram, describing them as "fake fans" and vowed that he will "never" fail a drugs test.
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I put my heart and soul into track and field and worked hard to get where I am today. It's simply disrespectful when fake fans speculate and talk about drugs in relation to the great athletes we have in this sport. It does nothing but hold the sport back from the popularity I know it can reach in the future. I shouldn't have to defend myself but for the first and last time I literally do not take ANY supplements or protein powders. Nothing even legal to help with recovery. Nothing. I work hard at practice, drink water and Powerade, rest, and work even harder the next day. Therefore I have never failed a drug test and never will. I'm the biggest advocate for clean sport because I know the sacrifice and what it takes to make it to this level. There have been a lot of inaccurate things said in the media over the past few weeks -- it's a shame we live in a world where clicks=money, yet people still believe everything they read. Click the LINK IN BIO to hear more about the usada situation. Huge Thank you to all my supporters🙏🏾. Can't wait for World Champs. See y'all in Doha #blessed
Coleman said in the video that 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 claimed the silver medal in the 100 metres 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 realise 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."