SPORTS

High-jumper Baniotis tests positive for banned substance

By George Georgakopoulos

High jump champion Costas Baniotis is the latest Greek athlete to test positive for a banned substance, the Greek track and field federation (SEGAS) confirmed on Tuesday.

Baniotis, who won gold in this year’s Mediterranean Games, was detected to have used furosemide, a banned diuretic, at a random out-of-competition check conducted on November 28 by the Greek anti-doping agency (ESKAN).

The 27-year-old Greek athlete could have skipped that check as he had also been inspected by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just over a month earlier, on October 23, but he went ahead with the Greek process anyway, obviously certain that there would be nothing wrong with his sample.

He is now risking a ban of up to two years, but he might get away with just a reprieve if he proves that he unknowingly took the banned substance via his nutrition supplements or one of the drugs he took after the operation he has had.

This is the second major incident of doping in Greek high jump in the last couple of years, after Dimitris Hondrokoukis was banned just before the London Olympics.

WADA has included furosemide in the banned substances' list due to its alleged use as a masking agent for other drugs.

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