NEWS

Blame laid on Iakovou’s shoulders

The Greek Weightlifting Federation (EOAB) yesterday blamed suspended national coach Christos Iakovou for 11 members of his team failing doping tests, as his lawyer said that the trainer plans to sue the Chinese company that supplied him with allegedly tainted food supplements. Following the conclusion of its disciplinary hearing, EOAB released a statement accusing Iako-vou of not following procedures that require all supplements given to weightlifters to be approved by the federation. «During this disciplinary process, it was established that the national coach Christos Iakovou acted on his own initiative, without the approval of the federation, when he ordered the supplements in question,» EOAB said. «As he acknowledged himself before the disciplinary committee, he acted without following the proper procedure. Naturally, this responsibility falls on the national coach.» Iakovou allegedly asked a Larissa-based food supplement importer he knew, Panayiotis Katselos, to source some amino acids for him. The supplements, which were ordered over the Internet from a company in China, have been blamed for the athletes failing the tests. Iakovou’s lawyer, Mi-chalis Dimitrakopoulos, produced an e-mail to Katselos that he alleges is from the Shanghai-based drugmaker Auspure Bio-technology in which the company admits to making a mistake. Dimitrakopoulos said yesterday that the police had confirmed that the e-mail had been sent from China and that his client intends to take legal action against the firm. Greek authorities have asked for help from Interpol in tracing the computer from which the e-mail was sent so they can confirm whether it actually came from the company. EOAB said yesterday that it hopes Iakovou’s version of the story turns out to be true. «We would like to believe that the evidence submitted… is genuine and that he was a victim of this mistake. This would be in line with the standing and invaluable contribution that Christos Iakovou has made.»