NEWS

In Brief

DOPING BLOW

Greek walker quits after EPO is found in re-tested sample The 2004 Olympic walking champion Athanasia Tsoumeleka said on Saturday that she is quitting the sport after a sample she gave before the Beijing Games tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO). The 27-year-old suggested her first test was negative and that the sample was re-tested several months later, when the blood booster was detected. Tsoumeleka, who came ninth in Beijing, denied knowingly using EPO but said that she would fight to clear her name, as she cast doubt on the testing methods used by international sporting authorities. DRIVING LICENSES New permits issued from today New, credit-card style driving licenses are to be issued from today. The permits will now be issued by the police’s passport office. Drivers holding the previous form of license will not have to change their permits until 2032. Fatal robbery A 50-year-old gas station employee was killed during a suspected robbery in the early hours of Saturday in the Stavroupoli area of Thessaloniki. Police said that two men had shot the Albanian national in the back. Double shooting A 63-year-old man shot his estranged wife and then killed himself in Aegaleo, western Athens on Saturday night. Police said the unnamed man shot the 58-year-old woman with a hunting rifle at her home following an argument before turning the gun on himself. Court date Representatives of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are due to meet at the International Court of Justice in The Hague today for a preliminary hearing on Skopje’s case against Athens. FYROM claims that Greece breached the intermediary agreement on the name issue that divides the two countries when it prevented Skopje from joining NATO last year. Broken fall A nine-year-old boy was in serious condition yesterday in a Thessaloniki hospital suffering from multiple broken limbs after falling from his family’s third-floor apartment in Serres. Police said the incident happened late on Saturday and that the boy’s fall was broken by a first-floor awning. Farmers protest Farmers briefly blocked the Thessaloniki-Veria national road in northern Greece yesterday and will repeat the action today to press demands for higher prices for their produce, better compensation for crops that are damaged by bad weather, a reduction in VAT and tax-free fuel. Thermaic rescue A 53-year-old man who was unconscious when he was pulled out of the Thermaic Gulf late on Saturday was yesterday still being treated in a Thessaloniki hospital. Authorities said the man fell into the water in front of the statue of Alexander the Great and had to be rescued by the coast guard. Singer dies Singer, musician, author and professor of Greek cultural history Danai Stratigopoulou has died at the age of 96, it was announced yesterday. Though Stratigopoulou translated Greek songs into Spanish as well as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s poems into Greek, she made her name as a singer in the 1930s.