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Greek Doping Drama Eclipes Olympic Opening


13 August 2004 -- A doping drama involving two of Greece's biggest Olympics stars is dominating local attention ahead of the official opening of the games today in Athens.

Sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou -- both medalists at the 2000 Sydney Olympics -- failed to show up for drug tests yesterday for which they now face two-year bans.

The athletes, major stars in Greece, were then hospitalized after a motorcycle accident that Greek sports officials blamed on their "bad psychological state."

Because of their injuries, which are not life-threatening, Kenteris and Thanou will not attend drug hearing set for today before the International Olympic Committee.

The drama dominated Greek media coverage ahead of today's opening ceremonies. Top-selling daily "Ta Nea" said, "Greece's biggest celebration is on fire."

(Reuters/AP/AFP)

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