© Copyright – 2020 – Athletics Illustrated
Two champion sprinters were permitted to compete in the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships after missing three doping tests each within a 12-month period, which is equal to having a positive test.
One was under investigation during Doha, the other was charged but the charges were later dropped and was subsequently competing at the meet.
Both subsequently missed a fourth test attempt.
American 100-metre sprinter, Christian Coleman, didn’t respond well to his provisional suspension as he publicly blamed the process as well as the doping control officer.
The 24-year-old said that he was Christmas shopping when the tester arrived.
“I think the attempt on December 9 was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test. I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested?!”
Apparently calling an athlete in advance is not protocol for the doping control officers. Additionally, the athlete must be at home during the entire one-hour window that they agreed to – not just part of that one-hour window. He either failed to understand that simple detail or purposely missed the test.
He may miss the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
Salwa Eid Naser, a Nigerian who competes for Bahrain is one of several plastic Bahraini athletes to run afoul of the AIU or Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). First, she was under investigation during the Doha meet, then she ran a national record in the 400m event. It was a bit of a red-flag moment.
She ran a 48.14 for gold. The 23-year-old (22 at the time) had also taken the Asian record with that performance.
Her attitude was no more humble than Coleman’s suggesting that it is normal to miss three tests within a 12-month period. It is not and it is not acceptable.
No wonder both athletes thought that they could skirt the WADA code a fourth time.
Victor Conte the head of the BALCO scandal had written an open letter to WADA to describe how athletes avoid testing positive. In it, he details the dosing, then missing a test on purpose. After a short period of time, to let performance-enhancing drugs pass through the system, the athlete makes up for the missed test. The athlete then tests negative, which allows them to carry on with the cheating.
It was of his influence that WADA changed the two missed tests in 18-month rule to three in 12 months.
These athletes should be suspended to send a message that the doping control process should be taken more seriously by the athletes.