Probe faults sprinters

Disgraced star sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou should be prosecuted for dodging a doping test on the eve of the Athens Olympics and faking a motorcycle accident in the process, according to the findings of a probe into the case that were forwarded to the country’s top prosecutor yesterday. The probe was launched on August 13, one day after the supposed accident, by prosecutors Athina Theodoropoulou and Spiros Mouzakitis. After Kenteris and Thanou avoided the test for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, they were forced to withdraw from the Olympics. Although the findings were not officially made public, sources close to the investigation told Kathimerini yesterday that the prosecutors also recommended action against the two 2000 Olympic medalists’ controversial coach, Christos Tzekos, and doctors at the Athens KAT hospital who backed the sprinters’ claim to have been injured in the alleged crash. Furthermore, in a deeper-reaching probe, Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos is to investigate whether there is enough evidence to allow a bid to prosecute former sports ministers over state funding for a sports club run by Tzekos. If so, Parliament will be invited to debate whether the former government officials’ immunity from prosecution should be lifted. Theodoropoulou and Mouzakitis recommended that Kenteris and Thanou should face misdemeanor charges for dodging the test, making a false statement regarding the supposed accident – in which they claimed to have suffered extensive injuries that required hospitalization at KAT and prevented them from undergoing doping controls – and inciting doctors to issue a false medical statement. KAT doctors who attested to their supposed injuries should also face misdemeanor charges, the prosecutors recommended, while Tzekos should be prosecuted over the illegal performance-enhancing substances located in a warehouse he owns.