Peter Bol has been “exonerated” and can now turn his full focus to the upcoming world athletics championships after Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) dropped its anti-doping investigation into the middle-distance star.
It ends a saga dating back to mid-January when the 29-year-old Australian was provisionally suspended after recording an elevated level of synthetic erythropoietin (EPO).
That ban was lifted the following month when his B sample returned an atypical finding, meaning it was neither positive nor negative.
As required by the World Anti-Doping Code, SIA continued to look into the matter, despite Bol vehemently protesting his innocence.
That investigation has now concluded, SIA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The further analysis resulted in varying expert opinions as to the positive or negative reporting of the sample, and the A-sample was reported as negative,” said SIA.
“As a result, Sport Integrity Australia has taken the decision not to progress an anti-doping rule violation for this sample.
“The investigation into this sample is finalised.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was satisfied SIA had acted correctly in its investigation but will now assess the review process “in light of the particularities of this case”, a stance supported by SIA and Bol.
“I have been exonerated,” Bol said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It was a false positive like I have said all along!
“The news from Sport Integrity Australia was a dream come true.
“I am glad that WADA has agreed to review the EPO testing processes to prevent future false positives.
“No one should ever experience what I have gone through this year.
“My focus is now on the World Athletics Championships coming up in Hungary.
“I am in good form and feeling well.”
The opening round of the men’s 800m in Budapest is on August 21.
Australia will be represented in the men’s two-lap race by Bol and his training partner Joseph Deng.
The 25-year-old Deng recently supplanted Bol as the national record holder.
The pair both sit inside the top 16 on the 2023 world rankings.
Bol returned to the track in June and locked in his spot on the world championships team with a run of one minute 44.29 seconds in Barcelona in early July.
The Sudanese-born athlete shot to prominence at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, when he twice broke the national mark and finished a gutsy fourth in the final.
Bol was disappointed to finish seventh in the 800m final at last year’s world titles in Eugene, Oregon, a couple of weeks before claiming silver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.