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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: Daily Dope: Police intensify Kenteris investigation

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posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 09:11 AM
Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou got another delay Monday from an IOC panel looking into their missed drug tests, while police intensified an investigation of the motorcycle wreck that left them hospitalized.

The city's chief prosecutor told police to get statements from the sprinters at the hospital where they're being treated for cuts and bruises from Thursday's suspicious accident, two court sources told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutor Dimitris Papagelopoulos also has asked the chief medical examiner to visit them, the sources said. They are expected to be released on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

Police are looking for evidence of the accident, which has slowed the International Olympic Committee's inquiry.

The IOC disciplinary committee granted a request from the sprinters' lawyer to postpone the hearing until Wednesday, when they are expected to be out of the hospital so they can testify. It was the second time that the hearing was pushed back.

"What interests them most is for the Greeks to be proud of them and to know the medals they've won, they won them honorably,'' their lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said.

Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter champion, is the country's most celebrated athlete and Greece's best hope for gold in track at the Athens Games. Thanou, the 100-meter silver medalist in Sydney four years ago, is his training partner.

The Greek Olympic Committee suspended the athletes from the team on Saturday, pending a final decision by the IOC. Their coach, Christos Tsekos, was also suspended.

Tsekos said Monday he wasn't sure whether the sprinters would be physically able to participate in the games, even if they're cleared. The track events start on Aug. 20.

IOC committee spokesman Francois Carrard said the panel agreed to another delay because it wanted to give the sprinters a chance to defend themselves in person. Their lawyer assured the committee that this would be the last delay.

"He personally committed himself to bring both athletes on Wednesday,'' Carrard said.

Dimitrakopoulos plans to fight any attempt to keep the sprinters out of the Olympics. "The suspicions are not the reality,'' he said. "It is not true that our athletes tried to evade doping control.''

Any IOC decision would have to be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has set up a tribunal in Athens during the games. CAS is supposed to make rulings within 24 hours of an appeal.

Arbitration panel upholds Kenyan boxer's expulsion

An arbitration panel on Monday upheld the expulsion of a Kenyan boxer who failed a drug test from the Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an appeal against the disqualification of bantamweight David Munyasia.

In the first doping case of the games, Munyasia was barred by the International Olympic Committee last week after testing positive for the banned stimulant cathine in an out-of-competition test.

IOC officials said cathine is a common drug in east Africa, found in khat, a leaf chewed for its amphetamine-like high.

Munyasia, who returned to Kenya last week, contended he did not knowingly ingest the banned substance and requested that his urine samples be analyzed by another laboratory.

Both arguments were turned down by the CAS panel.

"The test was positive and that is sufficient evidence to be considered a doping offense,'' CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said.

Under the Olympics' "strict liability'' standard, athletes are deemed responsible for any banned substances found in their bodies.

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