Christian Coleman’s anti-doping violations show ‘lack of respect’, says USA teammate Christian Taylor

Christian Coleman’s repeated whereabouts failures showed a “lack of respect” for athletics, his USA teammate Christian Taylor has said, as the world’s fastest man awaits a possible suspension of up to two years for anti-doping violations.

Coleman, who clinched the 100m world title in Doha last year, has accused doping control officers of failing to call him when they arrived at his house in December while he was out Christmas shopping at a nearby mall. But speaking to The Independent as president of the new Athletics Association (AA), triple-jump king Taylor said he had little sympathy for his US colleague.

““I’m very frustrated and very disappointed with the situation,” Taylor said of Coleman’s violations. “Every day we are responsible for one hour out of 24. You have to be in one place at one hour of the day [to adhere to testing rules]. I’m sorry but that’s not difficult.

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“I’ve had issues myself where I went golfing and was not at the place I was supposed to be, and guess what, I took the slap on the wrist, I was at fault and accepted it, and I moved on and corrected myself. But four times in a one-year period for me this shows me a lack of respect and then that is difficult.”

On anti-doping Taylor has been unequivocal with the establishment of the new athletes’ union. Athletes can only join the board if they have no history of doping misdemeanours, and the AA is currently considering how to make similar rules for its members. Taylor and vice-president Emma Coburn were among 15 athletes to volunteer to be tested virtually via Usada’s new video conferencing software during lockdown.

Asked whether Coleman simply lacked understanding of the anti-doping process, Taylor said: “It’s difficult to say it’s an education issue because then that’s putting responsibility on Wada (the World Anti-Doping Agency) or Usada (US Anti-Doping Agency). From my standpoint, Usada has done an incredible job with the webinars, so it’s difficult for me to say lack of education when I know the tools that have been available.

“I believe this is the third issue [whereabouts failure] in a 12 month period. This for me seems very high, and if you have questions [about protocol] then why not question at one failure, and at worst the second. I’m not trying to cast stones but it’s very frustrating because if you were just there [at home], then it’s not an issue.”

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