Olympic hero Peter Bol fails drugs test

Australian Olympic hero Peter Bol has been provisionally suspended after failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

The 800-metre runner failed an out of competition test for EPO and had been provisionally banned from January 10.

Australia’s Peter Bol in action at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.Credit:Getty Images

At the Tokyo Olympics Bol came fourth in an outstanding run in the final of the 800m, missing out on the bronze medal by 0.5 seconds. He had won his semi-final in a personal-best time.

Athletics Australia on Friday confirmed Bol had returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) an out-of-competition doping control test on October 11 last year.

Sport Integrity Australia informed Athletics Australia on Tuesday, January 10 that the A Sample had returned an AAF for Erythropoietin Receptor Agonists (ERA): rEPO (rEPO).

AA said Bol would be unable to train at a national, state or club level, compete at any level, coach, receive funding, use official or member facilities or hold a position with a sporting organisation.

Bol can now have a second sample, the B sample, analysed to reconfirm the A sample result.

AA chief executive Peter Bromley said the positive A sample was “extremely concerning and out of the blue”.

“There are procedural fairness and investigative consideration that constrain how much we can say, and at this point it would be inappropriate for Athletics Australia or anyone else to speculate about the specific details or pre-empt any outcome,” Bromley said.

“However what we can say is that learning about this adverse analytical finding was both extremely concerning and completely out of the blue, and we will support Sport Integrity Australia who are leading the investigation into the matter.

“As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code and the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy, Athletics Australia condemns doping in sport, and we work hard to ensure athletics in Australia is a clean and fair sport for all athletes, including providing anti-doping education in partnership with Sport Integrity Australia.

“We fully support the highly-effective testing protocols that exist to ensure that anyone who breaches the anti-doping policy is caught and appropriately sanctioned.

“Every athlete, coach and spectator wants and deserves a level playing field.

“We appreciate the efforts of Sport Integrity Australia to conduct an extensive regime of testing during and out of competition to ensure our sport is fair and equitable at all times.

“Our primary consideration right now is that the appropriate process is followed and that it is not undermined by inappropriate speculation.

“The welfare of our athletes remains critical through this process, and we will continue to do all that is appropriate to ensure both Peter and other athletes, coaches and support staff are provided with the necessary support.”

As per the National Anti-Doping Policy, Athletics Australia can only announce a potential Anti Doping Rule Violation if they have Sport Integrity Australia’s approval. That approval was provided this afternoon.

Bol won silver in the 800m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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