Thanou, coach testify before prosecutor

Sprinter Katerina Thanou testified before a public prosecutor yesterday on charges of avoiding a doping test on the eve of the 2004 Olympics and faking a motorcycle accident hours later. Her coach, Christos Tzekos, also appeared on related charges. Thanou, Olympic silver medalist in the women’s 100 meters in 2000 at Sydney, and training partner Costas Kenteris, the gold medalist in the men’s 200m, missed a doping test on August 12 at Athens’s Olympic Village. They withdrew from the Games after missing the test and then claiming to have been involved in a motorcycle accident. They spent several days in hospital with cuts and bruises. Kenteris is due to testify at a later date, which has not been fixed. Tzekos and the sprinters are due to stand trial this year but a date has not been set. Thanou and Kenteris were charged last November with avoiding a doping test and faking the motorcycle accident. Tzekos was charged with illegally importing and selling banned substances. Twelve others, including doctors at the state-run hospital where the sprinters were treated, have also been charged. The sprinters were temporarily suspended by the IAAF on December 22. But in March, the Greek federation’s sports tribunal cleared the runners for missing the doping tests. Tzekos received a four-year suspension for not telling them about the tests. On May 27, the IAAF asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the Greek ruling exonerating the sprinters. (AP)

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