CHRISTIAN COLEMAN V/ WORLD ATHLETICS: THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) CONFIRMS THE ANTIDOPING RULE VIOLATION (3 WHEREABOUT FAILURES WITHIN 12 MONTHS) BUT REDUCES THE PERIOD OF INELIGIBILITY IMPOSED ON CHRISTIAN COLEMAN TO 18 MONTHS
Lausanne, 16 April 2021 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the
appeal arbitration procedure between the American sprinter Christian Coleman and World Athletics
relating to the decision issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit on 19 December 2020 (the Challenged
Decision) in which Christian Coleman was found guilty of committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation
under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-
month period) and a 24-month period of ineligibility was imposed on him.
Christian Coleman’s appeal was partially upheld and he will serve a reduced period of ineligibility of
18 months as from 14 May 2020.
The CAS Panel in charge of the matter, composed of Mr James Drake QC (UK), President, Mr Jeffrey
Benz (USA) and Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany), arbitrators, held a hearing with the parties by videolink on 15 February 2021.
In coming to its decision, the CAS Panel determined that Christian Coleman had indeed committed an
Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, but found
the athlete’s degree of negligence to be lower than that established in the Challenged Decision: the
Athlete was not at home during the 60-minute time slot on the day of the out-of-competition doping
control (9 December 2019), as he should have been, and the Athlete should have been on ‘high-alert’
on that day, given the two existing whereabout failures against him. On the other hand, however, 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.
In conclusion, the CAS Panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility was the appropriate
sanction in the circumstances.
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