Kostas Kenteris announced he had pulled out of the Olympic Games “in the national interest” after a brief appearance before an IOC disciplinary commission investigating his missed drugs test.
Kenteris, his co-accused Katerina Thanou and their coach Christos Tzekos arrived at the Athens Hilton at 9.30am local time this morning to face a three-man International Olympic Committee commission.
Within an hour Kenteris emerged to reveal he was pulling out of the Games and would no longer work with Tzekos. He pointed the finger of blame at Greek officials and federations for the furore that has surrounded him since he missed a drugs test at the Olympic Village last Thursday.
Thanou emerged shortly after Kenteris but left without commenting.
Thanou was not selected in the Greek athletics team, named last night, because of the suspension imposed on her by the Hellenic Olympic Committee at the weekend, pending this IOC hearing.
She could be restored to the team if cleared of an offence.
The three-man commission’s recommendation on the Kenteris and Thanou case will now be referred to the IOC’s executive board who will meet later today to decide whether or not to ratify it.
Reigning 200m Olympic champion Kenteris emerged shortly after his and Thanou’s lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos and spoke briefly to Greek journalists before speeding away from the hotel.
Kenteris said: “With a sense of responsibility and in the national interest I am pulling out of the Olympic Games.”
Kenteris added that he was no longer going to co-operate with Tzekos and blamed Greek officials and federations for the case which has overshadowed the Games.
He also defiantly pointed out that he has passed drugs tests more than 30 times in the last four years.