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Coleman, a 23-year-old American, placed first in the men’s 100-meter world championship race after missing three doping tests in 12 months.

DOHA, Qatar — Christian Coleman has earned the right to be called the fastest man in the world, but some question whether he even should have been in the running.

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Coleman, a 23-year-old American, sailed to victory on Saturday night in the men’s 100-meter final at the world track and field championships, easily outdistancing the field in 9.76 seconds — the best time in the world this year. But Coleman’s inclusion in the race was debated in the buildup to the race, which lacked pizazz without the presence of Usain Bolt.

After Coleman missed three drug tests in a one-year period, the U.S. Anti-Doping Association charged him with a violation this summer that could have resulted in a two-year ban. But because of a rule that called for one of those missed tests to be backdated outside the one-year period, Usada dropped its charges against him and cleared him to compete.

Coleman grew up in Atlanta before competing in college at Tennessee and has maintained his innocence, going so far as to release a video on YouTube called “My Perspective.” In a news release earlier this month, Usada said that Coleman had been drug tested 20 times since 2018.


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