Credit: Wikipedia

As the start of Tokyo Summer Olympics rapidly approaches, the various United States amateur governing bodies are finalizing the teams and athletes that will represent this country when the Games commence with the opening ceremony July 23.

USA Track and Field will hold its trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, from tomorrow (June 18) to June 27, under the cloud of arguably its top sprinter temporarily banned from the sport. Christian Coleman, the reigning world men’s 100-meter champion, who is also the world record holder in the indoor 60-meters (6.34), was issued a two-year forbiddance in June 2020 from World Athletics competition after missing three random drug tests over a 12-month period in 2019 termed “whereabouts failures.”

World Athletics is the international governing organization for track and field. Coleman appealed last June’s provisional ban issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit, which is independent of World Athletics. Despite presenting compelling and plausible evidence explaining his absences from the tests, the decision was upheld in October by a disciplinary tribunal, and Coleman was exiled until May 2022. However, in April, Coleman’s punishment was reduced by six months and he’s now allowed to return in November.

“I have never and will never use performance enhancing supplements or drugs,” wrote Coleman on a social media post upon receiving the suspension. “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.

“I have nothing to hide but it’s not possible to show that if I’m not even given a chance to.” Following the 2017 retirement of eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, Coleman emerged as the dominant figure in the men’s 100-meters. He clocked the world’s fastest times in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and was the prohibitive favorite to win the event in Japan.