IAAF to investigate into Greek doping scandal

Published on Aug 26, 2004 07:26 PM IST

Track's governing body began investigating whether Kenteris and Thanou who withdrew from the Olympics had tried repeatedly to avoid doping testers.

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PTI | ByAssociated Press, Athens

Track's governing body began investigating on Thursday whether two Greek sprinters who withdrew from the Olympics had tried repeatedly to avoid doping testers.

While the International Association of Athletics Federations investigates, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou are free to participate in competitions.

The two national sports heroes who won gold medals at the Sydney Olympics have denied wrongdoing. And their lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said of the latest probe, "We have nothing to fear."

Under IAAF rules, athletes face sanctions in the event of three drug-test "no-shows" in 18 months. Prior to the missed test in Athens, the Greek runners were absent when testers looked for them in Chicago on August 10-11. The IAAF is also looking into a third possible case involving Kenteris in Tel Aviv, Israel, in late July. The IAAF's doping inquiry board will gather all information about the case. If there is sufficient evidence of missed tests, the case will go the Greek athletics federation, Segas, which will conduct a hearing. IAAF can reject a finding by the federation. "It will take weeks, but hopefully not months," said IAAF spokesman Nick Davies.

Prosecutors are also investigating whether Kenteris and Thanou were deliberately trying to avoid drug tests, as well as the circumstances surrounding a suspicious motorcycle accident on the eve of the games.

Kenteris, the surprise 200-meter gold medallist in 2000, and Thanou, who took silver in the 100 meters in Sydney, could not be found at the Olympic Village for an August 12 drug test.

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