Accessibility links

Breaking News

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."


More stories about the Olympics from RFE/RL:

Athens Readies For Spectacular Opening Ceremony

Muslim Women Athletes Move Ahead, But Don't Leave Faith Behind

After Medal-Winning Glory, What Next For Former Soviet Athletes?

Despite Problems, Olympic Ideals Endure

Games Struggle For Spotlight, But Prestige Remains

For Some Athletes, Behind The Medals Lies Real Gold