A lawyer for Australian middle-distance runner Peter Bol has launched a scathing attack on Sport Integrity Australia for releasing details of the Commonwealth Games silver medallist's positive doping test, before his 'B sample' had also been tested. Bol announced on Tuesday that he had been cleared of doping after his A and B samples were found not to match.
The dual Olympian's life was turned upside down in January when it was revealed he had tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, with the runner's A sample indicating he had traces of erythropoietin, more commonly known as EPO, in his system. Bol was provisionally suspended but vowed to fight the allegation, and asked fans to wait for the full process to play out.
On Tuesday, Bol was left with mixed emotions after revealing his B sample - taken at the same time as the original sample which returned a positive result - came back negative. As a result, the provisional suspension imposed by Sport Integrity Australia was lifted, leaving him free to resume competition.
The 28-year-old - who reportedly passed “20 tests” after the positive sample in January - had always insisted there was a mistake around his A sample. “Last month, I told everyone that I was innocent and asked that everyone in Australia believe me and let the process play out,” he said.
“I was hopeful that the process would exonerate me. This morning, I am relieved to report that it did.
“My provisional suspension has been lifted by Sport Integrity Australia. The relief I am feeling is hard to describe.
“I appreciate the support I have received from my family, my team and from so many people from Australia and around the world. The last month has been nothing less than a nightmare.
“I wish that the results of my A Sample had not been leaked, but there is nothing I can do about that.”
Peter Bol's lawyer furious over A sample announcement
Bol's lawyer Paul Greene pulled no punches in condemning Sport Integrity Australia for releasing details of the A sample, before the result of his athlete's B sample was known. Greene said such a scenario would never have played out for an American athlete and the undue pain and stress it caused the 28-year-old was completely avoidable.
“The sun is shining for Peter Bol. I knew he was telling the truth, he had never taken this (and) there was something wrong with this test,” Greene said on Perth’s ABC Radio. “The fact that they announced this is a disgrace. The fact that they didn’t keep this confidential, he was never charged... he was never shown a lab document. He was told he was positive and then it was announced."
Greene said Sport Integrity Australia "should be embarrassed by the way this case was handled" and that while it was ultimately a win for his athlete, Bol's exoneration brought about mixed emotions. “He’s elated, relieved, he’s upset. He doesn’t understand what’s happened to him. A lot of feelings, there’s a lot of emotion for all of us,” Greene added.
“The problem is that it should never have been announced. You should never announce it until an athlete is charged. You have to have an A and a B to actually issue a charging letter. We were never shown any lab documents at all. There was no supporting documentation.
“They announced it without sharing any documentation with us. It’s a really poor process and in my opinion they need to redo and relook at their processes. USADA is the world leader in this regard, under no circumstances would this happen in the USA. No one would have ever known about this if Pete was an American athlete.”
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