Kenteris and Thanou cleared of evading drug tests

Sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were cleared by Greek sports officials today of evading pre-Olympic drug tests.

Sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were cleared by Greek sports officials today of evading pre-Olympic drug tests.

The ruling by the Greek Athletics Federation came after two months of hearings into a scandal that deeply embarrassed the hosts of last summer’s Athens Olympics.

The sprinters’ coach, Christos Tzekos, was also cleared.

Kenteris and Thanou had been temporarily suspended by the world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, since December 22.

The sprinters failed to appear for doping tests at the Olympic Village on August 12, the eve of the opening ceremony.

They then spent four days in a hospital, claiming they were injured in a motorcycle crash, before withdrawing from the games under pressure from the IOC and Greek officials. They were later accused of faking the motorcycle accident.

Kenteris, who won the 200 metre gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Thanou, who took silver in the 100 metres, were national heroes in Greece and showered with honours until the scandal broke.

Both runners have declared their innocence, claiming they had not been properly notified about the Athens test.

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