CANBERRA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Australian athletics star Peter Bol has been provisionally suspended from competition after failing a drug test.
Athletics Australia on Friday announced that Bol, who finished fourth in the 800 meter final at the Tokyo Olympics, tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance EPO in an out-of-season test in October.
As a result, the 28-year-old has been banned from competing at any level until he can have a B Sample analyzed and a hearing process to determine if a doping offense has been committed.
Athletics Australia chief executive Peter Bromley said in a statement that the adverse analytical finding (AAF) against Bol was concerning.
"What we can say is that learning about this adverse analytical finding was both extremely concerning and completely out of the blue, and we will support Sport Integrity Australia who are leading the investigation into the matter," he said.
"As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code and the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy, Athletics Australia condemns doping in sport, and we work hard to ensure athletics in Australia is a clean and fair sport for all athletes."
Bol, who set a new 800m national record of 1:44.00 in June, was in November named the young West Australian of the year for athletic achievements and his work as a coach and mentor.
Prior to the positive test he was considered the frontrunner to win the Young Australian of the Year when it is awarded on Thursday.
In a statement posted on social media Bol protested his innocence.
"To be clear. I have never in my life purchased, researched, possessed. Administered, or used synthetic EPO or any other prohibited substance," he wrote.
"I remain hopeful that the process will exonerate me."