Olympic athlete Peter Bol has returned a positive doping test for a banned substance and received a provisional suspension.
The Australian 800m runner, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, returned an adverse finding for erythropoietin (EPO) at an out-of-competition test last October.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a fine 2022 with seventh at the World Championships in Eugene and silver in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games,
Bol maintains his innocence and has requested analysis of his ‘B’ sample.
“I ask that everyone in Australia believe me and let the process play out”, he said.
“It is critically important to convey with the strongest conviction that I am innocent and have not taken this substance as I am accused.
“To be clear I have NEVER in my life purchased, researched, possessed, administered or used synthetic EPO or any other prohibited substance.”
Athletics Australia delivered the provisional suspension and insists Bol is forbidden from training at national or club level and cannot compete or receive funding or use of official facilities.
The body did underline how Bol “is entitled to a fair hearing process to determine whether or not an anti-doping rule violation has been committed”.
EPO, which has been commonly used by professional cyclists in the past, increases an athlete’s red blood cell mass and therefore enhances stamina and performance.
Bol now faces the prospect of a four-year ban being handed out by the World Anti-Doping should he be found guilty.