Christian Coleman, despite recently having maintained the fastest 100m time since the retirement of Usain Bolt, has been sanctioned, with a two-year ban, for missing three drugs tests. The two time world champion will therefore miss the Tokyo Olympics, due to occur in 2021, casting another cloud over the already murky waters that the sport finds itself in and reigniting the Russian doping cover-up after two officials have been banned. Will the golden 100m event regain public support?

The removal of a main competitor for the gold medal at the Tokyo games is a huge blow for an event which is bound to suffer popularity wise, with the retirement of Usain Bolt – who was the face of the Olympics and athletics. This ban is an early blow for an event, which is witnessing a rise of a new generation, it certainly doesn’t send the message that anything has changed from the drug-ridden past generation.

It’s without a doubt athletes, such as Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, have put the 100m event in the same dark cloud that cycling has been put in, with many people not trusting athletes and taking results with a pinch of salt. This distrust will heavily impact the viewership of the 100m at the postponed Tokyo Olympics, with it probably not going to exceed the 35 million people worldwide who tuned in to the event on NBC’s stream of the competition.

However, this could be a blessing in disguise, we could see the rise change in viewership to the five new events, skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing, karate, and baseball. The Tokyo games might be a turning point in athletics and Olympic history where the 100m changes from being the focal point for fans and the go to event.

This ban also revives the question, when will doping in athletics stop. At this point, I think many of us feel that doping in athletics will never stop. It seems that whenever you hear athletics in the news it’s always because someone new has been found to be a drugs cheat. Us as fans understand that some people will do anything to gain an edge over the competition even it hurts the sport and quite frankly it’s sad to see. The IAAF needs to try to get this under control or we could be witnessing the death of the sport.