Bol says B sample clears him of doping positive

Peter Boll provisionally suspended

Australian running star Peter Bol says he is exonerated of doping, but Australia’s anti-drugs agency will continue investigating the star middle-distance runner.

Bol says he has been cleared of doping because his A and B samples from a drugs test last October did not match.

“My provisional suspension has been lifted by Sport Integrity Australia,” Bol posted on Twitter.

“The relief I am feeling is hard to describe.”

Sport Integrity Australia said the case involving Bol, arguably the nation’s highest-profile track athlete, remained open.

“The results of the Part B Sample analysis is an Atypical Finding (ATF) for recombinant EPO,” SIA said in a statement.

“The relevant rules require a WADA-accredited laboratory to obtain a second opinion from an expert … an ATF is not the same as a negative test result.

“An ATF is a report from a WADA-accredited laboratory which requires further investigation as provided by the World Anti-Doping Code.

“The investigation into the matter remains ongoing.

“Sport Integrity Australia will, as part of its investigation, proceed to consider whether any anti-doping rule violation/s have been committed.

“It is not possible to provide a time frame at this point.”

Bol, who finished fourth in the 800-metres final at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, was told on January 10 of a positive result in his A sample from an October test.

But a second sample, the B sample, “did not confirm my A sample”, he wrote.

Former Australian anti-doping chief Richard Ings said the situation was unusual.

“I can’t recall the last time that happened,” Ings, former chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, wrote on Twitter.

“I’m sure it has but it’s exceedingly rare … questions need asking of the lab and how it processed and assessed the A sample.”

Bol’s A sample from an October 11 test returned readings of erythropoietin.

The dual Olympian and Commonwealth Games silver medallist again emphasised he had never taken a banned substance.

Bol’s lawyer Paul Greene told the ABC it was a “disgrace” the athlete’s initial test result was leaked to the public.

“The last month has been nothing less than a nightmare,” Bol wrote.

“I wish that the results of my A sample had not been leaked, but there is nothing I can do about that.

“To say it one more time: I am innocent and have not taken this substance as I was accused.

“I have NEVER in my life purchased, researched, possessed, administered or used synthetic EPO or any other prohibited substance, and never will.”

Bol was provisionally banned by SIA and missed this year’s first major track and field meet in Adelaide on Saturday night. In his absence, crowds dipped by more than half compared with his appearance 12 months ago.

The next meet on the domestic calendar is the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne on February 23, a World Athletics Continental Tour event.

“Last month I told everyone that I was innocent and asked that everyone in Australia believe me and let the process play out,” Bol wrote.

“I was hopeful that the process would exonerate me. This morning, I am relieved to report that it did.”

– with AAP

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