Athletics Australia chiefs reject leak accusation from Bol’s coach

Athletics Australia’s president and chief executive have rejected calls by Peter Bol’s coach for CEO Peter Bromley to stand down pending an inquiry into the leaking of the Australian athlete’s provisional doping ban.

Rinaldi has written to the AA board calling for Bromley to be stood down pending the outcome of the investigation.

Australian runner Peter Bol.Credit:Getty Images

But Athletics Australia president Jan Swinhoe rejected the idea, saying she was unaware of any planned inquiry and was very confident that AA was not the source of any leak of Bol’s suspension.

Bromley said there was no reason for him to stand aside but welcomed any investigation into the matter.

“I have no reason at all to even contemplate that [standing down],” Bromley said.

“I can tell you quite frankly that we have no grounds whatsoever to think any leak came from AA. I would support any investigation of any leak, but I have no desire to stand down and no reason to. I can put my hand on heart and say it didn’t come from me.”

Swinhoe said AA will meet with Sport Integrity Australia next week to quiz them on how an athlete could have a positive test, then an inconclusive test. She said she understood that other athletes would be nervous of the accuracy of tests after Bol’s mixed results.

Bol’s provisional suspension was lifted on Tuesday after his B sample was deemed atypical – which is neither positive nor negative – for EPO but consequently did not support the positive finding of the A sample.

Sports Integrity Australia said that notwithstanding the lifting of the suspension they still needed to complete an investigation into his case. Bol will be interviewed by sports doping officials, but there will not be a formal hearing.

Bol’s lawyer and management have again requested all laboratory documentation before he is interviewed.

Bol was provisionally suspended on January 10 after returning a positive result for EPO from a drug test on October 11 last year.

News broke of the provisional ban prompting AA, with the approval of SIA, to release a statement.

Bol’s lawyer Paul Greene has been highly critical of AA and SIA over the leaking of the provisional ban, and said that despite the ban being lifted, the damage to Bol’s reputation had already been done.

He called for an inquiry into the leak, saying that in the United States, the US Anti-Doping Agency does not confirm an athlete’s ban until the B sample is returned.

Athletics Australia CEO Peter Bromley.

Rinaldi said Bromley, as chief executive, should stand down while any inquiry was conducted.

“It was good enough for Peter Bol to be stood down while waiting for the B sample. It should be good enough for Bromley to stand down pending investigation,” Rinaldi said.

“I strongly believe there is information being leaked from Athletics Australia, and it needs to be investigated. Peter Bromley is the only one who gets the email from Sport Integrity Australia about any provisional suspension so if the leak comes out of Athletics Australia it comes back to him.

“The inquiry could also find he [Bromley] has done nothing wrong, and they reinstate him like they did Peter Bol. ”

Peter Bol at the Commonwealth GamesCredit:Getty Images

Swinhoe said she had full confidence in Bromley and that the leak did not originate with AA.

“I am not aware of any evidence that this came out of AA,” Swinhoe said.

“I knew [about Bol’s provisional ban] for 7-10 days before [it was made public]. I can categorically tell you Peter Bromley knew before me and didn’t tell me. I could see something was up with him but he didn’t even tell me. After a few days he sought approval from SIA to inform me as the president. They gave approval and I was told, and I did not inform the rest of the board.”

Swinhoe said another AA official also knew, but there were other organisations outside of AA and SIA, which she would not name, who were aware of the ban.

She said many people were asking questions when Bol was not training or doing gym sessions for weeks.

She said she understood that athletes would now have their confidence shaken in EPO tests. AA through the athletes advisory board had agreed to organise an education session next month with SIA for athletes to learn more about EPO testing.

A number of officials from World Athletics will be in NSW this weekend for the world cross-country championships in Bathurst and she and AA executives would meet with them and officials from SIA to discuss the Bol case and EPO testing.

“It’s really, really important that athletes feel confident that if they are clean athletes that they would come back clean on every test. That’s of paramount importance for the athletes’ mental health,” she said.

Swinhoe said AA had offered Bol all the support they could for him now that the ban was lifted, and they were able to offer him services.

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