The lawyer for Australian Olympian Peter Bol has challenged the interpretation of lab data that saw the Australian Athletics poster boy test positive to a performance enhancing drug.
Bol, who finished fourth in the 800 metres at the Tokyo Olympics, returned a positive result for EPO and is now facing now faces a nervous wait for the results of his B sample.
His American lawyer Paul Greene, who has experience representing athletes from around the globe, says it was a margin call for the Aussie to have been given a positive result in the first place.
‘EPO naturally occurs in every one of us so it’s not like synthetic EPO has a different chemical make-up than regular EPO,’ said Greene.
‘It is a density/gel test that seeks to measure the density of one versus another but not everyone’s density EPO is the same so there is not a clear straightforward test in every case.
‘So sometimes you are right on the edge and it would appear from the initial report (with Bol) that they had a single band and that would mean it was a very very close call as to whether they were going to report this.’
Greene explained that similar tests results to Bol’s have in the past not been regarded as a clear result.
He also said that he’s seen careers derailed by questionable EPO tests including Norway’s walker Erik Tysse and Irish sprinter Steven Colvert.
Bol has declared his innocence and hopes that his B-sample will come back negative and clear his name.
‘It is critically important to convey with the strongest conviction that I am innocent and have not taken this substabce as I am accused,’ he posted on Twitter.
‘I ask that everyone in Australia believe me and let the process play out.
‘When I found out last week that the A Sample from a urine test take on 11 October had tested positive for synthetic EPO I was in total shock.
‘To be clear, I have NEVER in my life purchased, researched, possessed, administered, or used synthetic EPO or any other Prohibited Substance.’
Bol famously finished just short of becoming Australia’s first ever medalist in the 800m at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing fourth in the final.
The positive result has sent shockwaves through the Australian Athletics community as Bol has been a story of inspiration and rising above adversity since his huge display in Tokyo.
He became a household name when he surged to the front to lead all runners to victory in the semi-final before narrowly missing out on the bronze medal.
Bol has voluntarily handed over his phone and laptop to investigators while his coach Justin Rinaldi and agent James Templeton have also offered to surrender their devices.