Thanou’s case still dragging on

Sprinter Katerina Thanou may have to wait until next week to find out whether she will be allowed to take part in the Olympic Games. An International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel studied the case yesterday but has not reported any findings to Jacques Rogge, according to the IOC head himself. The three-member commission will make its recommendation on the case to the IOC executive board that is expected to issue its decision early next week. Thanou is planning to arrive in Beijing on August 13. The women’s 100-meter first round is scheduled for August 16. Sources suggest the IOC is determined to bar Thanou from competing by suggesting that she and Costas Kenteris, who evaded drug testing in 2004, have brought the Games into disrepute. The same sources argue that the IOC had originally planned to make its decision today, but chose to postpone it for fear of a strong reaction by Thanou’s lawyers on the day of the opening ceremony in Beijing. Speaking in an interview, Rogge admitted the IOC should not have let the issue drag on for so long. Thanou will also have to wait a bit longer to find out whether she is to be awarded the 100-meter gold medal from Sydney, which was taken away from Marion Jones after she admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs at the time of the 2000 Games. The IOC, which appears reluctant to give the medal to Thanou who came second in the race, is now likely to hold an executive board meeting next month to discuss the case further. It is reportedly waiting to receive all the files in the BALCO steroid investigation in the United States. Thanou’s lawyers threatened this week to sue the IOC if it does not give her the Sydney gold medal.