January 20, (THEWILL) – Australian Olympian, Peter Bol, has been provisionally suspended after failing an out-of-competition drug test.
The 800-metre runner, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, returned a positive result for the banned substance EPO. His suspension has been backdated to January 10, meaning he cannot train or compete at any level.
Bol has declared his innocence in a statement posted to his Twitter account and said he was in “total shock” when he found out about the positive test result. He posted: “To be clear, I have never in my life purchased, researched, possessed, administered or used synthetic EPO or any other prohibited substance. My career hopes and dreams are literally hanging in the balance over these next few weeks.”
Athletics Australia CEO, Peter Bromley, said the test result was “extremely concerning” and that the appropriate process will be followed. Bol’s manager and coach have also defended him and stated that he has never considered taking performance enhancing drugs.
A 28-year-old from Sudan, Bol left his country at the age of four due to civil war. He recently gained popularity in Australia for his strong performance at the Tokyo Olympics. He also won a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.