(As the Olympic games are of major importance I thought it is justified to open the thread here in this forum)
Article translated from german, close to the original.
Original: Enemy of the State #1
Enemy of the State #1 - How the greek doping investigator Ioannis Psarellis was hindered in his work.
On his day of victory Ioannis Psarellis seems oddly dissatisfied. He sits on the patio of his flat in Athens suburb Palio Faliro. It's wednesday,
last week, the day Greek molts.
The very same time, nine TV broadcast vans and 300 reporters in downtown Athen, in front of the Hilton hotel. The reports are listening to the
statement of star lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos. He says that Konstantinos Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou will forbear to compete and sacrifice
themselve for their country.
It's a pathetic defence. Psarellis didn't expect it another way. He shakes his head. Psarellis is a small but strong man, he weares bermuda shorts
and a white shirt, his english is perfect and his talk is sober-minded.
Konstantinos Kenteris was Greek's greatest athlet. And probably, Psarellis his biggest enemy.
Psarellis is Greek's only international doping investigator. Two and a half-year ago he started hunting the crooks in the name of
Wada(World-Anti-Doping-Agency). He didn't know about the troubles he had to expect.
Psarellis is a trained Triathlet, until beginning 2000 he competed in Greek's national team. Becoming a doping investigator came into his mind as he
watched them doing their work at the games of Sydney. After studying and writing studies about the anti-doping campaigns of the IOC he became an
international doping inspector. From Greek.
Bad timing. His work started just as Greek's athlets were training for the Olympic games and of course: The Greeks wanted to get the maximum out of
the Games. No matter how.
The swedish company IDTM which takes the training probes for Wada regulary gave a list to Psarellis. His job was to go down the list and collect
probes of every athlet. From time to time also Kenteris and Thanou were on the list as well.
The list was his mission. He is no narrow-minded official but idealist. There are rules you have to stick to. "I control without emotions." - he
didn't know about what to come.
When Psarellis was about to test athlets they run away from him, in Athen, there is always a backdoor for athlets.
In June 2002 Psarellis and 3 colleagues were about to take a probe from a javelin athlet. She trained in Athens olympic stadium but noticed the
presence of Psarellis. Her reaction: She escaped to her flat in the olympic park, locked the door and didn't answer phone calls.
They decided to wait...the next morning her roommate opened the door. The javelin athlet was gone.
But he was persistent, a doping inspector by nature. There is no salary just an allowance.
Times changed. The hunter became the hunted. Reports and functionaries demanded that he tells the names of athlets to be controlled. "You are a
Greek, you MUST support us."
When Psarellis controlled athlets it was on the news the next day, though he never informed a reporter about it. He was labled a do-gooder and bad
"Goal news" wrote: "as a Greek it is his duty, to be a shield, so that our champions won't experience injustice and our country gets exposed."
Mobbing in front of millions.
"I was being naiv", says Psarellis. "I underestimated that the interests of doctors, trainers, politics and reports are nearly the same.". In
Greek an athlet "can do what he wants if he wants to win the medal." He "choosed the wrong country to become a doping investigator.".
Pressure increased. In June 2002 he wanted to test 2 athlets before a competition in Athen. 2 days before, he was sitting in the cafeteria of Hotel
Caravel, as a manager of the event showed up, accusing him of ruining the event. The manager told the hotel not to give Psarellis a room or let him
phone any of the athlets. Finally he told him - if he continues like that, he will end up "with a bullet in his head".
*...a few incidents and other "nice" stories skipped...*
Meanwhile Psarellis was fired from his position as competition manager of the triathlon during the olympic games in Athen. Reason: He worked as a
Clean games? "Bu-ll-sh-it", says Psarellis.
I read a lot about doping in Greek, before the games and now during the games. Meanwhile I am so disgusted about the Greeks that I am not considering
spending any more holidays over there and as far as it considers Germany, I guess I am not the only one.
Shame on you Greek!
PS: Forget about style in the rough translation
I don't have time to do it the oxford style.
[edit on 23-8-2004 by shoo]
[edit on 23-8-2004 by John bull 1]