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Greek sprinters' verdict on Friday

March 18, 2005 16:48 IST

Greek athletics officials will on Friday issue their verdict on Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou who face a two-year ban for missing three doping tests including one on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"Today in the afternoon the decision will be handed over by the disciplinary commission to the Greek athletics federation (SEGAS) and it will then be made public," a SEGAS official told Reuters.

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Kenteris, 31, and Thanou, 30,
withdrew from the Athens Games days before they were to race in front of their home crowd. They have been suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) since December.

The IAAF has said the sprinters failed to appear for doping tests in Tel Aviv, Chicago and Athens on the eve of the Olympics and ordered SEGAS to hold a disciplinary inquiry.

Kenteris won the men's 200 metres gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games and Thanou was 100 metres silver medallist at the same Olympics. They have denied any wrongdoing.

The once popular sprinters, who have disappeared from the public eye since their withdrawal from the Games, have the right to appeal against the decision and take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

They also face a criminal hearing in Greece over the missed drugs tests and have been charged with faking a motorcycle accident on the day of the Athens test, which led to them spending four days in hospital.

Their coach also faces charges of importing illegal substances, including anabolic steroids, for his nutritional supplements company.

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