Andre De Grasse is one of Canada’s best-ever track athletes. At only age 26, the runner has already racked up five international medals, including an Olympic silver from the 2016 games. However, as this Olympic cycle comes to a close, De Grasse recently found out that he will have one less major competitor to face at next year’s games. Two weeks ago America’s Christian Coleman, who is also the 2019 World Champion in the 100m, was suspended for a doping violation, after missing three drug tests within a single 12-month period. Now, he will be unable to face De Grasse at the 2021 Olympics.
When asked about the Coleman case, De Grasse says he genuinely feels bad for him. “I mean it’s really unfortunate for him [Coleman]. Selfishly, I want to race against the best and he’s one of the fastest guys out there. It’s too bad I won’t have that chance to compete this year, but, no, I don’t suspect him of taking anything. I think he just made an irresponsible mistake – we’re human, we all make mistakes. Hopefully, he can learn from it and be better next time around.”
The 100m is an event with a notorious doping history, but De Grasse feels that the new generation of runners, his generation, is cleaning it up. “This sport has a history of doping but I don’t think my generation is like that. Hard work does pay off and I know you can accomplish something without cheating. I could never be proud of myself if I won from cheating. This generation has done a lot better in that aspect. I believe we’re in an era where things are starting to turn around and get better.”
During his training break, De Grasse shot a commercial for GoDaddy, a website hosting platform. The runner says that maybe there’s acting in his post-running future. “I’ve been a GoDaddy customer for a while now. I use their company for my own charities. When they approached me to shoot a commercial in the fall, I was pretty excited to partner. That was my first time acting, so memorizing lines was an adjustment for me. People have asked if I’d go into acting now, but I’m not sure. Maybe it’s something I could try after running.”
For now, De Grasse is stationed in Florida but traveling back to Toronto, where the Athletics Canada east hub is located, fairly regularly. He got back to training last month after a long down season, and he’s happy to get back into things and focus ahead of the upcoming Olympics.