Greek pair may miss IOC disciplinary hearing

Greek athletes Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou could miss today’s IOC disciplinary hearing into their missed drugs test at the Athens Hilton.

Greek athletes Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou could miss today’s IOC disciplinary hearing into their missed drugs test at the Athens Hilton.

The Greek sprinters may not be fit enough to attend the hearing, according to their lawyer.

Kenteris and Thanou missed a drugs test at the Games Village last Thursday and later that night suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident.

The duo have been in hospital since and may be represented at today’s hearing by their lawyers.

The athletes’ coach Christos Tzekos did arrive at 9am local time this morning and found a media scrum outside the hotel.

The three-man disciplinary commission, made up of Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka, Athens co-ordination committee chairman Denis Oswald and IOC vice-president Thomas Bach, will make a recommendation to the executive board who are due to meet late tonight.

The athletes' lawyer Michalis Dimitrakapoulos said they were on intravenous drips and "under these conditions, it's impossible for them to give interviews".

The pair have already been suspended by their own association pending today’s inquiry, which will see them thrown out of the Games completely if it goes against them.

The case has completely overshadowed the first three days of the Olympics and has reinforced the widespread feeling that the competition is littered with cheats.

Kenteris and Thanou were absent when drug testers from the IOC called upon them in Chicago last week and then in the Olympic village in Athens last Thursday.

Their initial disciplinary hearing was postponed from last Friday on medical grounds.

Having been temporarily withdrawn from the Games by their own national federation, they now face the prospect of being suspended fully by the IOC, who, under their rules, can ban an athlete if they have had two "no shows" at drug tests during competition.

“We will have to wait to see what the exact reason was for them not being there for the tests,” said an IAAF spokesman. “Our no-shows are based very much on when we go to test with an element of surprise.”

The IAAF revealed yesterday that Kenteris, aged 31, who won the Olympic 200m title in Sydney in 2000, also missed an IAAF test last month.

Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF, said: “There was a no-show on July 28 when we tried to test Kenteris in Tel Aviv.”

Both athletes have been tested a number of times in the last two years.

In 2003, Kenteris was tested on February 27, April 5 and November 15 and Thanou on February 27 and November 15. Also, they were both been tested at least twice in the last three months.

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