Greek sprinters to fight suspensions

Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will fight the provisional two-year bans imposed on them by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at an independent tribunal this weekend.

Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will fight the provisional two-year bans imposed on them by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at an independent tribunal this weekend.

The sprinters were banned by athletics’ ruling body for failing to take drugs tests before the Athens Olympics.

An independent tribunal of the Greek Track and Field Federation will meet to decide whether to ratify the sanction.

The duo face charges of failing to give information on their whereabouts and refusing to submit to a drugs test.

Kenteris’ lawyer Gregory Ioannidis told BBC Sport: “We refute both charges as unsubstantiated and illogical.

“There have been certain breaches in the correct application of the rules on behalf of the sporting authorities and their officials, and these procedural breaches have also violated my client’s rights.

“There is also evidence that proves the fact that my client has been persecuted.”

Ioannidis, who is a law lecturer at the University of Buckingham, added: “One of the important rights and foundations of law and justice – that the accused should be presumed innocent unless proved otherwise – has been tarnished.”

The panel will also decide on the two-year ban imposed on the athletes’ controversial coach Christos Tzekos by the IAAF.

Kenteris, the Sydney Olympic 200metres champion, and Thanou, the women’s 100m silver medallist from the same Games, quit the Olympics on 18 August after failing to give samples on the eve of the opening ceremony.

Testers could not find them at the Olympic village and the duo were later admitted to hospital after claiming to have been involved in a motorcycle accident.

They also missed tests in Tel Aviv, Chicago and Athens before the Games.

In imposing two-year bans on the duo on 22 December, the IAAF described their explanations for missing the tests as “unacceptable“.

Whatever the findings of the independent tribunal, all parties will have the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The tribunal hearing will take place at the Hellenic Olympic Committee building on Saturday and is expected to finish early next week.

The tribunal panel will consist of five members – president Konstantinos Panagopoulos and Panagiotis Dimakos, Haralabos Hrisanthakis, Stilianos Perakis and Ioannis Karmis.

Kenteris and Thanou also face criminal charges in Greece for allegedly faking the motorcycle accident.

Eight criminal charges have been laid against the sprinters as well as Tzekos, an eyewitness to the accident and hospital officials.

But there has been speculation that the charges could be dropped.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

GAATitleGAALogo

Fri, Sept 17

Kanturk
v
Blarney

SAHC Round 2

Mallow
8pm

Sat, Sept 18

St. Finbarr's
v
Erins Own

PSHC Round 2

Páirc Uí Chaoimh
7.30pm

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up