You can call 2020 a lot of things. The year from hell. The year of coronavirus. The year of Black Lives Matter.
But in track & field, it's starting to feel like the year of the whereabouts failure. On Wednesday, 2019 100-meter world champion Christian Coleman became the eighth and most prominent athlete to be handed a suspension for whereabouts failures in 2020, joining other notables such as former marathon WR holder Wilson Kipsang and 2019 400m world champ Salwa Eid Naser.
Whereabouts issues are nothing new for Coleman -- but unlike last year, when he narrowly escaped a ban, he is currently staring at a two-year suspension, barring a successful appeal. You math whizzes might realize that a two-year ban would mean Coleman would miss next year's Olympics. Not great when you're the 100-meter gold medal favorite.
We broke the situation down on the site last week, but we've had some great non-Coleman coverage as well, including USATF reversing itself about whether athletes could earn the Olympic Trials standard this summer, a look at the new movie Runner about Sudanese refugee-turned-Olympic marathoner Guor Mading Maker, and a killer Throwback Thursday featuring Augustine Choge's epic win over Craig Mottram in Melbourne at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Coleman, who accused the AIU of purposely attempting to get him to miss a test, says the doping control officer never called him once he could not find Coleman at his residence -- though a call is not required under WADA rules. Coleman also says he made it back to his home before his one-hour testing window was over; the doping control officer said he stayed the entire hour and knocked every 10 minutes.
Craig Mottram turned 40 on Thursday. In honor of the Big Mazungo, Jonathan Gault revisited the race Mottram called "the greatest race I have ever done in my life" -- his incredible duel with Kenya's Augustine Choge in the 2006 Commonwealth Games 5,000m final, which produced just the second sub-13:00 winning time in a championship 5,000.
On June 12, USATF said athletes would not be able to earn 2021 Olympic Trials standards until December 1. On Thursday, they issued a correction, saying that no decision had been made yet on the qualifying window for the 2021 Trials.
So right now, no one knows whether marks achieved this summer will count or not.
Akins, a two-time NCAA runner-up for Penn and the first 2020 collegian to sign a pro deal, joins the pod. We also discuss the Impossible Games, Rojo's coaching tree, and some Alan Webb talk for good measure.
8 of his 9 siblings were killed in the Sudanese Civil War but Guor Maker (né Marial) somehow survived and eventually thrived despite the odds, competing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic marathons. Maker is the subject of a new feature-length documentary that will premiere this weekend in conjunction with World Refugee Day. *Click here to find out how to watch.
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