Greek sprinters set to stand trial

Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:44pm GMT

By Graham Wood

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou are finally set to face trial for allegedly making false statements to authorities in a doping scandal on the eve of the 2004 Athens Games.

The trial, which has been repeatedly postponed, will be heard by an Athens misdemeanour court starting on Wednesday.

Greece will be hoping that the conclusion of the trial will help close an ugly chapter in the country's sporting history.

Former marathon runner and Greek record holder Maria Polyzou is now an ambassador for Greek sport and a member of the organising committee for the Athens Classic Marathon.

"I think the important thing is for everything to be put in order and for the truth to come out, whatever that may be, so people can get on with their lives normally," Polyzou told Reuters.

"Those events had a very negative impact on the Athens Olympics from the point of view of Greeks and the world and the whole affair has not been kind to Greek sport," she added.

"Whatever the outcome, hopefully it offers a chance to mark the end of what has been a harmful episode for sport in this country."

Kenteris, the 200 metres gold medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and favourite to be flag bearer at the 2004 Games, and Thanou, 100 metres silver medallist in Sydney, missed a drugs test at the Athens Olympics and said they had crashed a motorcycle on the way to the athletes' village.   Continued...

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