ATHENS, Greece -- Prosecutors opened an investigation Monday
into the motorcycle accident that left Greek sprinters Kostas
Kenteris and Katerina Thanou hospitalized shortly after they missed
The International Olympic Committee granted them another
extension on Monday. A disciplinary hearing was pushed back by two
days, when they're expected to be out of the hospital.
The IOC and city prosecutors are trying to find out what
happened last Thursday, when the two national stars weren't
available for drug tests in the Olympic village.
They were taken to a hospital a few hours later after their
motorcycle skidded and crashed, leaving them with bruises and cuts.
Chief city prosecutor Dimitris Papagelopoulos ordered an
investigation to determine if any laws were violated by the
athletes, their coach or sports officials in connection to the
Prosecutors plan to take statements and give medical exams to
the sprinters, who expect to leave the hospital on Tuesday.
Prosecutors want to know if the accident was part of an attempt to
cover up the missed drug tests.
The accident has caused the IOC to twice postpone its
disciplinary hearings. Their lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos,
assured the committee that there would be no more delays.
"He personally committed himself to bring both athletes on
Wednesday,'' committee spokesman Francois Carrard said.
Dimitrakopoulos said the sprinters want to give their side of a
story that disappointed a nation and overshadowed the games'
"What interests them most is for the Greeks to be proud of them
and to know the medals they've won, they won them honorably,'' he
Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter 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 honor.
Thanou, the 100-meter silver medalist in Sydney four years ago,
is Kenteris' training partner.
The Greek Olympic Committee suspended the athletes on Saturday,
pending a final decision by the IOC. Their coach, Christos Tsekos,
was also suspended.
Tsekos said Monday he wasn't sure whether the sprinters would be
physically fit enough to run in the games, even if they're cleared.
The track events start on Aug. 20.
If they do not compete at the games, it would be "because of
the accident. There is no other reason,'' Tsekos said.
Carrard said the IOC panel agreed to another delay because it's
important for the sprinters to have a chance to defend themselves.
"It's not like a simple doping test. You have to investigate
specific circumstances, and the due process due to the athletes is
fundamental,'' Carrard said.
Dimitrakopoulos plans to fight any attempt to keep the sprinters
out of the Olympics. "The suspicions are not the reality,'' he
said. "It is not true that our athletes tried to evade doping
Any IOC decision would have to be appealed to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport, which has set up a tribunal in Athens during
the games. CAS is supposed to make rulings within 24 hours of an
Women weightlifter booted
ATHENS, Greece -- A female weightlifter from Myanmar was
kicked out of the Athens Olympics on Monday after a positive drug
Nan Aye Khine, 27, was stripped of her fourth-place finish in
Saturday's 106-pound (48kg) class.
The International Olympic Committee executive board said she
tested positive for a banned steroid in a pre-competition test
Thursday. Test results were confirmed after she competed.
She is the second doping case of the games, but the first who
competed. Kenyan bantamweight boxer David Munyasia was barred last
week after testing positive for the banned stimulant cathine in an
Myanmar formerly was known as Burma.