– I’ll be believed – VG

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DEFENSE SPEECH: Boxer Hadi Srour was a professional and had an opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. On Tuesday, he must convince the Judging Committee of the Norwegian Sports Confederation that the positive doping test he took last year is wrong. The picture is from Sror’s press conference on September 4, 2019, after the case became known. Photo: Vidar Ruud, NTB

Hadi Srour (24) is unsure whether he will continue his boxing career, even though after the Judgment Committee’s open hearing on Tuesday he should be acquitted of the claim that he has doped himself with synthetic Epo.

– The question is whether I have the passion to do this again. This will either be the last dance for me, or – we’ll see. It all depends on what happens, says Hadi Srour.

On September 4 last year, Srour confirmed to VG that he had passed a positive doping test. According to the analysis at the laboratory in Oslo, it contained traces of the “endurance drug” Epo in so-called synthetic form – that it must have been added to Hadi Srour’s body by injection – and not been produced naturally in it.

Lawyer Niels Kiær is leading the case before the prosecution committee, which demands that the Judgment Committee sentence Hadi Srour to four years’ exclusion from sports.

Hadi Srour says that the night before he took the positive test, in mid-July last year, he “raved” at the Stavern Festival.

He has from the first moment and all the time claimed his innocence. This is how he presented it during his press conference on 4 September last year:

14 months later, on Tuesday 22 September, during the hearing in a room at Ullevaal Stadium, however, he must convince the Judging Committee of the Norwegian Sports Confederation that the positive test is wrong.

A day has been set aside for the hearing. In the Norwegian Sports Confederation’s press invitation to it, it is pointed out that the oral proceedings are limited to the presentation of evidence regarding an analytical answer, and that other parts of the case will be dealt with in writing.

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Hadi Srour has summoned Erik Boye (73), including a former professor at the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Oslo, to testify. Erik Boye is retired after being employed at Radiumhospitalet for 44 years. He still works a little there. He also teaches at the University of Blindern. Boye, as well as three others “in a small group”, have for many years acted as expert witnesses in connection with Epo cases internationally and in the sports arbitration court Cas.

In addition, Srour meets with lawyer Brynjar Meling for assistance.

– I have put in 70-80-90 hours, if not more, to understand what Epo is and how to get it in the body. To understand how a test can first be positive, then negative. It is not easy, says Hadi Srour.

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This is the second time Niels Kiær has been prosecuted for a doping case with Epo as the “main ingredient” in Norwegian sports. There have only been two.

The first was against racer Erik Tysse, who tested positive for it before the European Athletics Championships in 2010 – and was sentenced to the strictest exclusion at the time: Two years.

– I will sit there and seem credible. Speak my case, and be believed, he says.

When asked if he has an overview of the number of times he has been tested since he as a top athlete was required to report to Anti-Doping Norway, ie he must state a time interval and place every day for where the doping hunters can get hold of him, he answers 22 to 23 times since 1.1 2016.

He adds that he has “missed” a requirement for sampling.

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Hadi Srour had just signed it when he last summer, after boxing his fourth professional fight, received the message that changed his life and future prospects. He also had a dream of boxing in the Olympics for Norway. It’s off for good. Hadi Srour has moved from Tønsberg to Oslo to study science.

– Tønsberg was a little too small, he says.

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