Monday on SAS Australia: Heartbreak for Olympic champion Stephanie Rice as a medical withdrawal ended her time on the course, while Olympic runner Peter Bol opened up about the trauma of being falsely accused of blood doping.
DS Ant Middleton made the tough decision to medically withdraw Stephanie Rice. For the first time in SAS Australia history, Ant acknowledged her resilience by dismissing her from the course with her #11 armband.
The fifth recruit to exit the course, Stephanie broke down in tears, saying she wanted more time on the course but was also proud of her performance.
“I just felt like I could’ve kept going. Like, I don’t feel like I’ve learnt [enough] about myself. But being able to leave with my number feels special. I’m really proud of that. I think the lesson for me is knowing that there will be more opportunities and be okay with this moment right here, right now.”
For their first task of the day, the recruits were divided into two teams, with Zima Anderson captaining Team Alpha and Abbey Holmes leading Team Bravo. The teams had to work together to free a vehicle laden with survival equipment. As part of the task, both teams were then ambushed by the Jordanian Royal Air and Armed Forces.
Escaping capture, Peter, Matthew Mitcham, Tim Robards and Dr Craig Challen were the only recruits to pass the task.
Showing strength and cunning in the task, the DS summoned Peter to the mirror room, curious to know more about him.
The Olympic runner revealed how he came to live in Australia, via Egypt, from a war-torn Sudan. He described the heartbreak and injustice of being wrongly accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
“I knew sport would finish eventually. I couldn’t care less. But your integrity tested is a different story. When the news did come out that the A sample didn’t match the B, I didn’t know how to react. I wasn’t excited.”
“Like, I wasn’t going to celebrate my own innocence. I was more angry and disappointed in how I was treated by the people who are supposed to look out for you.”
“But I figured I can’t focus on that. I might as well go and break a few more records. People are always gonna question your innocence. You still Google my name and there’s more articles about drug allegations than anything about Tokyo. So that’s gonna be there for life. There’s always gonna be a cloud over your head. But you have to keep pushing and stay strong when you need to as well.”
Tuesday night on SAS Australia: The nine remaining recruits learn about drone warfare the hard way and a mountain rappel almost ends in disaster. The course claims another victim and two recruits’ painful pasts are revealed.
The star recruits remaining on SAS Australia in 2023 are:
Abbey Holmes, 32 – AFL Field Commentator
Anthony Mundine, 47 – World Champion Boxer
Dr Craig Challen, 57 – Thai Cave Rescue Hero
Craig McLachlan, 57 – Actor
Mahalia Murphy, 29 – International Rugby Star
Matthew Mitcham, 35 – Olympic Gold Diver
Peter Bol, 29 – Olympic Runner
Tim Robards, 40 – OG Bachelor
Zima Anderson, 25 – Actor
SAS Australia - continues 7.30pm Tuesday on Channel 7 and 7plus