NEWS

Kenteris and Thanou in new no-show

The IOC’s disciplinary committee meets today to discuss the fate of Greece’s star sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. But the two, who are accused of violating anti-doping regulations by missing a drug test on Thursday, will be absent from this hearing as well. Doctors at the KAT hospital who are treating them for minor injuries purportedly sustained in a motorcycle accident said yesterday they would have to undergo further tests and treatment. Athens’s chief prosecutor has ordered a preliminary investigation into the incident, including the doping control request and the police report into the crash (which no witnesses have appeared to corroborate). The incident, involving the Olympic 200-meter title holder and the women’s silver medalist has been an acute embarrassment for the hosts of the 2004 Olympics. President Costis Stephanopoulos called it a «disgrace for Greece.» IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davis said the disciplinary committee will meet today even if the athletes do not attend. On Saturday, the Hellenic Olympic Committee’s executive board voted by 5-1 to suspend Kenteris and Thanou from the Greek Olympic team until the IOC decides today. Committee President Lambis Nikolaou said his was the minority vote as he wanted stricter punishment. «I believe we should take away the accreditation of both athletes immediately,» Nikolaou said. The athletes’ coach Christos Tzekos and lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos claimed on Saturday that the two had not taken illegal substances and they accused Nikolaou of trying to harm Kenteris and Thanou. «They have not committed any disciplinary violation. They were not caught doped,» Tzekos said. The lawyer charged that only when the two had left the Olympic Village on Thursday afternoon was the Greek team’s chief of mission notified that they were wanted for testing. The coach and lawyer will be at today’s IOC hearing. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack said yesterday the two Greek stars had missed three mandatory tests this year alone: In Tel Aviv on July 27-28, in Chicago on August 10-11 and last Thursday.