Sun | Sep 22, 2019

Coleman could be in Doha – Boldon

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:20 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

High-profile track and field analyst Ato Boldon believes that sprinter Christian Coleman, who allegedly missed three drug tests in 12 months, will be vindicated before the IAAF World Championships next month.

But he admits that if the American, who is the fastest man in the world currently, is not in the field, this could increase Caribbean athletes’ chances of landing a medal in the men’s 100m.

“I think it is very premature to expect that Christian is not going to be at Doha because the more I investigate the situation, the more I believe that he will be in Doha. But, if he is not there, it increases the chances for everyone,” Boldon told The Gleaner yesterday.

SAVING FOR BIG DAY

Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion, is the highest-ranked sprinter from the Caribbean in the men’s 100m at ninth and has positioned himself to pounce if Coleman slips. Blake showed his desire to reclaim the world title last week at the Birmingham Diamond League by posting 10.07 seconds in cold conditions to win the 100m and warned that he is saving his ‘big day’ for the World Championships.

“The weather wasn’t great, but I’m saving the big day for the World Championships and the Diamond League finals in Zurich,” Blake said.

It is reported that Coleman, who has the fastest time in the world this year with 9.81 seconds, missed the test but argues that at least one of them was for ­reasons beyond his control.

Coleman, and other high-profile athletes, is required to provide details of his whereabouts for one hour of the day to the world anti-doping agency for random drug testing.

Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson weighed in on the matter, saying that the incident should serve as a lesson to other athletes.

“I think this is a learning lesson for us to be more responsible, and I think it opens our eyes more,” Thompson said.

Brianna Rollins-McNeal, the 100m hurdles Olympic champion from the USA, was the last high-profile athletes to serve a ban for missing three random drug tests in 12 months. Rollins-McNeal was banned for 12 months after the 2016 Olympic games.

Coleman could face up to a two-year suspension for the offence.