IAAF president Coe tells athletes to treat whereabouts system ‘very seriously’

Newly re-elected IAAF president Sebastian Coe told athletes that they should treat the Whereabouts system very seriously.

American sprinter Christian Coleman escaped a doping ban although he missed three doping tests in 12 months and will start his 100m competition on Friday at the Doha athletics world championships.

When asked about the matter, Coe said, “There are number of issues we need to hold very firmly to. The whereabouts (system) is a very important part of the ecosystem. All athletes should understand the seriousness of it.”

“A missed test should set off alarm bells,” he said at a news conference held at the Khalifa Stadium on the eve of the opening of the biennial track and field gala.

According to the whereabouts system, athletes are required to report their whereabout information so that anti-doping officials can carry out drug tests on them. Three missed tests over the period of 12 months will be seen as a failed drug test and lead to suspension of up to two years.

Coleman missed tests on June 6, 2018, January 16, 2019 and April 26, 2019. But the US Anti-Doping Agency withdrew its charge against Coleman with Whereabouts Failures after receiving guidance from WADA that filing failures relate back to the first day of the quarter.

Therefore, the US sprinter’s first filing failure should be related back to April 1, 2018, which meas his third filing failure is more than 12 months after the first one.

Although Coleman’s matter drew controversies, Coe said it would be a “good thing” if he wins the 100m.

“It would be a good thing if Christian Coleman win the 100m. But as I said it will be a very competitive field,” Coe said.

Coleman finished second at the previous edition of the World Championships in London two year ago. He set a season best of 9.81-second to lead the world leading list of the year, which was 0.02s shy of his career best time achieved last August.