Kenteris, Thanou withdraw from Olympics

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou withdrew today from the Athens games, nearly a week after the duo missed a drug test and were hospitalized.

Kenteris, Thanou withdraw from Olympics

Athens:

Top Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou withdrew today from the Athens games, nearly a week after the duo missed a drug test and were hospitalised after a mysterious motorcycle crash. "I'm withdrawing from the Olympics," Kenteris said after meeting with the International Olympic Committee. "I am terminating my collaboration with my coach Christos Tsekos. Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter Olympic champion, is the country's most celebrated athlete and Greece's best hope for gold in track at the Athens Games. He was considered a leading candidate to light the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony. A Greek windsurfing champion got the honour. Nation disappointed The mystery overshadowed the games' opening ceremony and disappointed a nation in one of its most eagerly-awaited moments. "I declared all the facts of my case which state that I am innocent," he said. "I was never informed that I had to attend a doping test at the Olympic Village." Thanou was the 100-meter silver medalist in Sydney four years ago. "I came here today before the IOC committee to submit my facts. Some Greeks in the last few days have accused me of taking banned substances, but according to the IOC, there is no such issue," Thanou said. "The people who are accusing me are the ones who stood by me for photos after my victories; others don't even know me. "I handed my accreditation back to the IOC today. It's a very hard thing for an athlete to withdraw from the Olympic Games, especially when they're in their homeland." (AP)

Topics : Athletics
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