A hapless policy

Regardless of the official outcome of the Thanou-Kenteris controversy, what has caused the most damage to Greece is that incompetent handling of a very serious matter caused it to be blown out of all proportion and led to unnecessary aggravation. The foolishness of those handling the matter lies in the fact that they treated it as a purely domestic affair when it quite obviously had the potential to become an international scandal. And so the two star sprinters and the Greek athletics authority became the focus of ridicule by international media without being able to provide any decent defense. Equally unfortunate was the stance of top Greek sports officials who, bewildered from the very outset of the episode, aggravated matters even further by opting to keep their distance. Indeed, it was their timidity that contributed to the painfully slow progress of the whole affair, thus providing both the Greek and foreign public with ample «material» to imagine the worst possible scenarios regarding the possible truth of the matter. And this despite an appeal by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis for the affair to be brought to a swift conclusion. But the worst thing of all is that the exclusion of Thanou and Kenteris from the Games is unlikely to resolve the thorny issue of doping in our country…

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