American star sprinter Christian Coleman reportedly might not make it to next summer’s Olympic Games after an investigation was launched after he allegedly missed three drug tests.
Sources familiar with the case told the Associated Press that Coleman is accused of three “whereabouts failures” over 12 months, which can be treated as a positive test and doping violation.
If found guilty, the 23-year-old could see an automatic one-year ban. However, most athletes hit with a first doping violation receive two-year bans.
This would mean he would miss the 2019 worlds in Qatar next month and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan next summer.
Coleman is the reigning national champion at 100 meters. In 2017, he finished second to Justin Gatlin at the world championships — and one spot ahead of Usain Bolt.
He has the world's leading time in the 100 the past three years. He also has qualified for worlds in the 200 meters.
At the U.S. National Champions last month, he won with a time of 9.99 seconds. He set this year’s fastest time so far – 9.82 seconds – at the Diamond League meeting at Stanford, California in June.
Athletes are required to provide authorities with their whereabouts so they can be tested for drugs without notice. Failing to provide the information, or not being present when a tester shows up, is considered a violation.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which deals with cases involving American athletes, does not discuss specific cases.
With the track world looking for someone to fill the massive vacuum Bolt left in the sport when he retired in 2017, Coleman signed a reported seven-figure deal with Nike when he turned pro the same year.
His main rival in the 100 at the worlds figures to be Gatlin, who, like Coleman, attended the University of Tennessee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.