NEWS

Kenteris tells prosecutor ‘everything’

Costas Kenteris, Greece’s star sprinter whose absence from the Olympics cast a shadow over the Games, testified before a prosecutor who is investigating the circumstances surrounding a missed doping test by Kenteris and his training partner, Katerina Thanou. Kenteris, who won the 200-meter race in the Sydney Games, went into prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis’s office at 9.45 a.m. and came out at 5.15 p.m., a total of seven-and-a-half hours. Judicial sources said that Kenteris had been summoned to testify last Friday but had requested a postponement until after the Games’ closing ceremony. On Sunday night, he met with his lawyer and Thanou. «I spoke about the situation that has existed all these years,» Kenteris told reporters after leaving the prosecutor’s office. «I testified with regard to everything I have lived through in the last few days, as I experienced them,» he added. «I replied to all questions and spoke about everything I knew.» Kenteris thanked those who had supported him but, when asked whether he would race again, he replied: «I want to but I don’t know if and when I will race again.» He noted that he had not begun to look for a new coach, after severing his ties with Christos Tzekos, who withdrew from the Games along with Kenteris and Thanou on August 18. Neither Kenteris nor lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos would reply to questions as to why he and Thanou had missed the doping test, why he had cut ties with Tzekos, why he and Thanou had left the Olympic Village shortly after entering it on August 12 and the circumstances of a mysterious motorcycle crash that night which led to their being hospitalized for five days. Dimitrakopoulos said that when the athletes entered the Village they encountered Greek and international officials and no one informed them they were wanted for a doping test. A key issue is whether Tzekos knew about the summons before the 7.15 p.m. deadline on August 12. The sprinters have denied using illegal substances. Track’s top international body, the IAAF, has launched an inquiry into whether they violated doping rules. Thanou and Tzekos are to testify soon.