— Published 1 August 2023

Australia clears one of its athletes

The road has just become clearer for Peter Bol. The Australian athlete, who came 4th in the 800m at the Tokyo 2020 Games but was temporarily suspended for doping last January, is now back in the saddle. He has been cleared by the Australian anti-doping organisation. In a press release published on Monday 31 July, Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) explained that it was dropping its investigation into Peter Bol after discovering that his positive test for EPO, revealed during an out-of-competition test in October 2022, was erroneous. Initially, the SIA had had doubts, as the B sample of the test was different from the A sample. However, the investigation continued, with the Australian agency taking the view that the B sample, although deemed “atypical”, was not negative. On Monday 31 July, the SIA stated that it had re-examined the results using another WADA-accredited laboratory and a WADA-recognised EPO expert, and that it had concluded that Peter Bol’s A sample was negative. The Australian athlete has always maintained his innocence. “It was a false positive like I have said all along”, he explained in a press release. “No one should ever experience what I have gone through this year.” Comment from the World Anti-Doping Agency: “WADA is satisfied that SIA has followed all applicable processes in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code. Indeed, SIA openly and regularly communicated with WADA throughout. While we have no reason to question the validity of the analytical method used for recombinant EPO, WADA will assess the current review process in light of the particularities of this case.”