Australian athlete Peter Bol has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance.
Bol, who finished fourth in the 800m at the Tokyo Olympics, returned an adverse finding for erythropoietin (EPO) at an out-of-competition test in October.
The 28-year-old protested his innocence in a statement and said he had requested analysis of his ‘B’ sample.
“I ask that everyone in Australia believe me and let the process play out”, he said.
“It is critically important to convey with the strongest conviction that I am innocent and have not taken this substance as I am accused.
“To be clear I have NEVER in my life purchased, researched, possessed, administered or used synthetic EPO or any other prohibited substance.”
Athletics Australia, who handed out the provisional suspension, said he is not allowed to train at a national or club level, compete, receive funding or use official facilities.
A statement added that Bol, who won silver in the 800m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, is “entitled to a fair hearing process to determine whether or not an anti-doping rule violation has been committed”.
EPO increases red blood cell mass, allowing the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and increase stamina and performance.
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code, Bol faces a ban of up to four years if found guilty.