NEWS

Drymonakos fails doping test

Top Greek swimmer Ioannis Drymonakos, ranked second in the world in the 200-meter butterfly, has tested positive for a banned substance and appears likely to miss the Beijing Games. «The athlete, after the latest developments, is withdrawing from swimming and reserves the right to exercise all legal rights to safeguard his honor and reputation,» said his lawyer Stavros Mavromatis, without elaborating. The 24-year-old tested positive for methyltrienolone in an out-of-competition control conducted in March, according to the Hellenic Swimming Federation (KOE). He is expected to be summoned to a disciplinary hearing on May 28. «No board member serving on the disciplinary body will make any statement until the procedure is complete,» the federation said. The confirmation came a day after Drymonakos’s second doping sample tested positive at the Athens Olympic Center doping control laboratory. His first sample had tested positive in mid-March but he had not been identified at the time. The announcement comes as a major blow to Greece’s hopes at the Beijing Olympics after Drymonakos’s victory at the European championships in Eindhoven in March. He also won the silver in the 400-meter medley at the same event. Last month, he took the bronze medal in the 400-meter medley at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Manchester. The positive test follows the announcement on Tuesday that 11 weightlifters, who tested positive in March, and former national weightlifting coach Christos Iakovou, are among 25 people facing misdemeanor charges. The whole weightlifting team is now facing a ban from the Beijing Games due to the large number of positive tests.