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Athletics

Most Athletes Dismissed Coleman’s Excuses As Michael Johnson Add To The Criticism

The road of escape of doping ban for reigning World 100m Champion, Christian Coleman increasingly looks thinner as most athletes and four times Olympics Champion, Michael Jackson outrightly dismissed his excuses.

Johnson, who earned 4x400m relay gold at Barcelona 1992, 200m and 400m gold at Atlanta 1996 and 400m gold at Sydney 2000, criticised Coleman on Twitter.

“After a close call last year for 3 whereabout failures or missed tests, for Coleman to allow this to happen again will lead people to believe either you’re doping or you don’t take seriously the anti-doping efforts of the sport”, Johnson wrote.

“What reason do we have to believe otherwise?”

Coleman acted defiantly to yet another missed test, claiming that he had been Christmas shopping when a doping control officer had gone to his house.

He claimed his innocence and criticised the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Athletics Integrity Unit. 

In response, Johnson again criticised Coleman’s reaction and excuses.

“This from Christian Coleman: ‘I am willing to take a drug test every single day for the rest of my career for all I care to prove my innocence’.

“Proving your innocence is the very reason athletes follow the whereabouts and testing rules which he has repeatedly violated!”

Other athletes have also been vocal in their criticism of Coleman, including former world, European and Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene. 

“Last year you got off for the same sanction,” the Briton posted as part of a long message on Twitter.

“To let it happen to you again is astounding. 

“Being at your hour slot each day is a small price to pay for the life this sport has given to you and to help fight for an equal playing field for all athletes. 

“Regardless of whether you are doping or not, the rules are there for the greater good of the sport. 

“Being the best in the world means that you should be leading the way by example. 

“Try treating the sport, your full time profession, and fellow athletes with respect they deserve.”

Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece echoed Greene’s thoughts and said he has composed a “great thread”.

The 24-year-old Coleman earned gold in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, having taken silver in both events in 2017. 

He was considered the favourite to take the Olympic 100m gold in the Japanese capital before the Games were postponed. 

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