Thanou deserves gold medal, says lawyer

Updated: 10 October 2007 09:49 IST

Katerina Thanou's lawyer insists the Greek sprinter deserves the 100-meter gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics after finishing runner-up to Jones.

Athens:

Katerina Thanou's lawyer insists the Greek sprinter deserves the 100-meter gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics after finishing runner-up to Marion Jones.

Thanou, however, was at the centre of a doping scandal at the Athens Games four years later. Her lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said she should still be considered a worthy
winner.

"I believe that since (Jones) used banned substances and undeservedly won the race with the use of illegal means, it would be correct for her to lose the gold medal. It should deservedly be awarded to Ms. Thanou," Dimitrakopoulos said.

Jones could be stripped of her five Olympic medals after pleading guilty Friday in suburban New York to lying to federal investigators when she denied using
performance-enhancing drugs.

Jones also pleaded guilty to lying about her role in a check-fraud scheme.

Lamine Diack, president of track and field's governing body, said Jones "will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history".

"A lot of people believed in the achievements of Marion Jones and this confession leaves a bitter taste, and tarnishes the image of a sport in which a majority of athletes are
honest and clean," he said.

Thanou and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris failed to show up for drug tests on the eve of the Athens games, claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident and eventually pulled out. Both were later suspended for two years.

Thanou and Kenteris returned to competition in February, and were to be tried in a Greek court last month on perjury charges related to the doping test. The hearing was postponed until June 19, 2008.

Topics : Athletics
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