Sat, 21 Sep 2019

New York - United States sprint star Christian Coleman vowed to fight allegations that he missed three drug tests on Saturday, saying he is confident a September hearing will clear him to compete at next month's IAAF World Championships.

Coleman, this year's fastest man in the world over the 100m, could face suspension after failing to make himself available for three drug tests over the past 12 months.

A Twitter account listed from NBC Sports' Olympic editor Nick Zaccardi posted on Saturday a statement from Coleman to the broadcaster's Ato Boldon, a four-time Olympic spring medalist from Trinidad and Tobago.

"I'm not a guy who takes any supplements at all, so I'm never concerned about taking drug tests, at any time," Coleman told Boldon.

"What has been widely reported concerning filing violations is simply not true. I am confident the upcoming hearing on September 4 will clear the matter and I will compete at the World Championships in Doha this fall.

"Sometime after the hearing, I will be free to answer questions about the matter, but for now I must reserve and respect the process."

In a statement on Saturday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed Coleman had been notified of a potential anti-doping rule violation for failing to properly file his whereabouts information.

The agency said two of the three test attempts involved USADA while the third was initiated by the Monaco-based Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

USADA said a three-person independent American Arbitration Association/North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA/CAS) panel will hear Coleman's case, with a decision to come by the end of September 5.

Britain's Daily Mail and The Times newspaper reported Coleman is challenging one of the alleged "whereabouts" failures.

Under global anti-doping rules, athletes must let doping tester know their exact whereabouts up to 90 days in advance in order to facilitate out-of-competition testing.

Athletes who fail to make themselves available for three drug tests are treated the same as athletes who fail a drug test and face an automatic suspension.

Such a ban on Coleman would be another stain on a sport already reeling from years of doping disgrace, including the recent Russian scandal.

Coleman, the 60m world record-holder and world indoor champion, could be the heir to Jamaican legend Usain Bolt, who retired in 2017.

Coleman was second at the 2017 worlds in London behind mentor Justin Gatlin and owns a personal best of 9.79 as well as this year's best time of 9.81 set in June at Stanford, California.

Depending on the dates of Coleman's missed tests, if confirmed, he could miss the IAAF World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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