Christian Coleman, the reigning world champion in the 100-meter dash, has been temporarily banned for missing multiple drug tests.
Coleman issued a statement on Tuesday, saying drug testers for the Athletics Integrity Unit attempted to reach him at his home Dec. 9. He said he was out shopping for Christmas presents at the time and was only notified of the testers' presence at his home the following day:
The Associated Press (via ESPN.com) provided some context regarding the testing procedure: "Athletes are required to list their whereabouts for an hour each day when they must be available to be tested. A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found, or that they weren't where they said they would be when testers arrived."
The AIU also said alerting an athlete to an upcoming test "provides an opportunity for athletes to engage in tampering or evasion or other improper conduct which can limit the efficacy of testing."
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged Coleman with missing multiple tests last August but withdrew its case in September, which allowed the the 24-year-old to compete in the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
He edged out Justin Gatlin in the 100-meter dash with a time of 9.76 seconds and then teamed with Gatlin, Mike Rodgers and Noah Lyles to earn gold in the 4x100-meter relay.
Coleman's temporary ban won't be lifted until he attends a hearing, and the AP noted he could receive a suspension of up to two years.
That could jeopardize his availability for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were pushed back one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.