MELBOURNE, Australia — Few professional runners become household names. Peter Bol is a household name in Australia. a A middle distance runner from Sudanese descent is of some note a Hero of the nation
To the Tokyo Olympics where he was the First Australian male to enter the competition in 53 years the 800-meter Olympic final, he hurtled into his compatriots’ hearts after he placed fourth in a nail-biter race.
“I didn’t know if I was going to win, but I knew one thing for certain — that the whole of Australia was watching,” In 2021, he spoke to reporters. “That carried me on.”
Australian eyes will be again open this year on Mr. Bol — but for less desirable reasons.
News broke last month that he was facing charges. a Suspension from Training after a sample of his urine tested positive for synthetic erythropoietin, or EPO, according to Australia’s antidoping agency. This drug is, a Banned blood booster, which helps to promote endurance, was the reason for suspensions of other discredited athletes such as runners, biathletes, and others. the Lance Armstrong, disgraced American bicyclist
Many weeks later, the recipient received the These are the results the Test of his “B sample” — the The second half of the Original sample used for verification the High accuracy the It is either the first or second. A sample — Mr. Bol says his innocence has now been proven. Antidoping Agency, calling the Result “atypical,” It hasn’t, she said.
The episode has raised questions not only about Mr. Bol’s integrity, but also when and how officials should go public with accusations of drug use. It has brought back debates about international drug use. the EPO testing accuracy is criticized as being too susceptible to human error.
On Jan. 10, when antidoping officials came to Mr. Bol’s home in Melbourne to inform him of his suspension, he hoped that the It is possible that allegations will never be made public.
Paul Greene was his lawyer. the Antidoping Agency, Sports Integrity Australia to Keep the Keep suspension covered until you are ready to test on The B test had been done. Bol was 29 years old. a You have a reputation for being squeaky clean and a High public profile and maintained his innocence, Mr. Greene stated.
He was a Finalist for the Young Australian Award the Year, a They feared they would lose the prestigious national award that was to be presented later in that month. the He said that he was concerned about his chances of winning the race if he is suspected of doingping.
At first the According to Mr. Greene, agency was in agreement. “‘If his B doesn’t confirm his A, he’ll keep this confidential, nobody will ever know,’ and that’s the way it should be.” In other places the He stated that an athlete wouldn’t be allowed to compete until they had analyzed both of the samples.
Days later the Agency told Mr. Greene the He said that information was somehow made public and that they were compelled by the law to officially announce it. the suspension. He said that Mr. Greene struggled with understanding how the It was all possible.
Allegations of doping in sports are hardly news — nor are vehement protestations of innocence by accused athletes. It was, however, for Australians. a bombshell.
In Mr. Bol’s easy manner and laid-back charisma, they had seen someone to root for: the A champion runner had been injured and was now unable to continue his race. the sports as an additional competitor a school 400-meter race. His sporting talent was praised by others: He is on his way to the Olympic final: Mr. Bol had beaten two national records. His backstory inspired many more. Mr. Bol’s family fled to Egypt from violence in Sudan when he was a Before coming to Australia, a small child. on Humanitarian visas.
Where? the The allegations became public and Mr. Bol asked for patience, claiming that he never had taken EPO or any other prohibited substances. “I am innocent and have not taken this substance as I am accused,” He wrote on Instagram. He did not reply to our requests for comment.
In attesting his innocence, Mr. Bol’s team has pointed to the athlete’s upstanding record, distaste for needles and overall good character. But there are also practical and financial reasons he is unlikely to have doped, especially before receiving sponsorship from Adidas and Longines, said Justin Rinaldi, Mr. Bol’s coach, who receives no payment.
Until the Olympics. Mr. Bol did not earn more than $20,000 a Rinaldi explained that Mr. Rinaldi paid for all the costs of running his business every year. “It’s not glamorous.” Many people cannot afford to take performance drugs. a He added that a structured program for doping was also available. “It’s not something that’s feasible in our sport, particularly here in Australia.”
Near-identical drug is the one Mr. Bol has been accused of using. a Naturally found in the Body that stimulates the Production of red blood cells. It yields black streaks with varying densities and thicknesses.
Antidoping agents often analyze the Results from these tests can be used the Human eye a Erik Boye said that this method is alarmingly inflexible. a Norwegian scientist. His colleagues in Oslo’s biochemistry and molecular Biology have long called for his participation. a Modifications in the way these tests are performed.
“There are scientific methods whereby you can measure exactly the density in the profile that you’re analyzing,” He stated. “You can have a machine do it. And then the answer is obvious.”
the Early 2010s: Dr. Boye, along with his associates, sought support in the community the For such machine analysis, the scientific community is needed. At first, they attracted signatories from significant colleagues, including Werner Franke, who exposed details of East Germany’s state-sponsored athlete doping program, and Peter Agre, Who was the winner? the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2003
Antidoping authorities, however, dismissed these efforts and claimed they were very experienced in analyzing. the They would not alter their method of testing.
Dr. Boye stated that eventually, the The fight felt futile. “It’s just so unfair,” He stated. “You think that antidoping is a worthy, glorious undertaking, but it’s not, unfortunately.”
Yesterday, Bol released another statement on Instagram — this time, with a Notice of the euphoria. After receiving the euphoria, he promised that he would go back to training. the Test results for his B-sample. “I was hopeful the process would exonerate me,” He wrote on Feb. 14. “I am relieved to report that it did.”
But a Statement from Sports Integrity Australia. It has stated that it plans to interview Bol. the In the weeks ahead, it was even more concerning.
Yes. Mr. Bol may return to training. Yes, the B sample did not confirm the A sample. However, “an atypical finding is not the same as a negative test result,” the Statement read. It stressed that more investigation was necessary.
Sports Integrity Australia didn’t respond to requests for an interview.
Bol stated that his team hoped to discover the truth. Bol plans to go. a His coach stated that he was a kidney specialist. Their wait for a transplant has been ongoing since January 14. the Full lab report available at a Bol a cost of over 1,200 Australian dollars. They have so far only the Initial one-page summary.
“My guess is that we will never see any results,” Dr. Boye: the scientist.
He also added: “They will never reveal anything that could discredit them. They will say ‘nothing found, case closed.’” Und the Bol in the dust would result from this process “shattered,” He concluded, “at least for a few months.”