Canada’s Andre De Grasse is disappointed not to face Christian Coleman in Tokyo

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The fastest men in the world have never intimidated André De Grasse. He prefers to compete with the best.It’s no surprise, then, that the Canadian sprint star is disappointed that there likely won’t be a showdown against American Christian Coleman at the Tokyo Olympics, after the reigning 100-meter world champion had a victory over his head. received a two-year suspension for doping violation.

“I like to compete with the best,” said De Grasse. “It’s an unfortunate situation for Christian, I would never wish that on anyone. I don’t choose my side, I don’t know the whole story behind it, I just know it’s unfortunate, and for a guy of his caliber, I feel for him. ”

Coleman’s suspension came after missing two visits from doping officials and failing to provide correct information on another occasion. All three incidents occurred within 12 months.

WATCH | Morgan Campbell of CBC Sports discusses Christian Coleman’s ban:

Morgan Campbell of CBC Sports has given his opinion on the recent ban of US sprinter Christian Coleman after missing three drug tests, which will put him out of reach of the Tokyo Olympics next summer. 5:40 a.m.

“I don’t suspect him of anything, I just think he made an irresponsible mistake,” De Grasse said.

Elite athletes are required to file “whereabouts forms”, allowing one hour per day that anti-doping officials can find them for out-of-competition testing.

De Grasse, who turned 26 on Tuesday, thanked his support system for helping never make that mistake. Everywhere he goes, including Toronto recently to shoot a GoDaddy commercial, his manager and others are giving him addresses. They remind him to update his whereabouts.

‘I just feel bad for him’

“I don’t think that would ever happen to me, but yeah, we’re all human, we make mistakes,” said De Grasse. “It’s part of the job, it’s not just racing. This is the other aspect that people don’t see. People compare it to work – if you keep showing up late for work, you will end up getting laid off.

“But I’m neutral on the situation, I just feel bad for him. ”

Coleman is appealing the ban.

De Grasse won bronze in the 100 at the 2019 world championships and silver in the 200. The native of Markham, Ont., Will be the mix for the 100 and 200 gold in Tokyo, as well as the Americans Justin Gatlin, medalist silver in the 100 at the world championships in Doha and Noah Lyles, the reigning 200 world champion, among others.

There is no obvious favorite after COVID-19 has all but wiped out the 2020 outdoor season.

De Grasse returned to the track just a week ago in Jacksonville, Florida, where he and his partner Nia Ali, the reigning 100-meter hurdles world champion, live with their daughter Yuri and Ali’s son. They had trained on a lawn.

“And in the weight room, we have to wear masks at all times, so that’s been a great adjustment,” he said.

With hardly any races under his belt since the world championships last fall, De Grasse plans to run indoors for the first time in a long time. He will compete in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on January 25 and the Millrose Games in New York on February 13.

De Grasse thinks the Olympic Games will take place

Both competitions will include strict COVID-19 protocols, De Grasse said, including pre-arrival testing and then again before the competition.

This week’s news of progress in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine has fueled hope for the Olympics, which are set to open on July 23 after being pushed back for a year.

Other sports have run successfully during the global pandemic, including the elite London Marathon run a few weeks ago, and the NBA and NHL, which ended their 2019-20 seasons in protective “bubbles”.

“I think it can be, it can be successful,” said De Grasse. “Once I saw the NBA and the NHL do it, it gave me hope. ”

The sprinter, who plans to stay in the sport at least during the Paris 2024 Olympics, was on virtual media tours this week to promote GoDaddy, which provides tools like web designers for small businesses.

Due to the two-week quarantine, De Grasse stayed home for almost a month filming the “No Fame Necessary” campaign. He said the ad was shot with physical distancing and the crew were all wearing masks and face shields.

“I had fun doing it and was happy to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially during this time, and whatever is going on. “

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