NEWS

Games’ doping charges roll in

A Greek weightlifter who lost his bronze medal in the Athens Olympics after testing positive for unnaturally high testosterone levels was charged yesterday with use of the illegal performance-enhancing drug. The misdemeanor charges against Albanian-born Leonidas Sampanis, 33, came one day before international athletics officials are due to rule on possible sanctions against Greece’s disgraced former sprint stars, Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, who have been accused of dodging three doping tests in the run-up to the Athens Games. Kenteris and Thanou have already been charged by prosecutors in Athens with faking a motorcycle accident to dodge a drug test on the eve of the Olympics’ opening ceremony. The two eventually withdrew from the Games before they could be thrown out. Also yesterday, prosecutor Athina Theodoropoulou – who handled the Kenteris-Thanou investigation – charged officials at the main Olympic stadium’s doping control center over a bungled test on a US Olympic cyclist.