Drug hearing postponed for Greeks



The two sprinters are still hospitalized from an accident.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou got another delay today from an IOC panel that will decide whether they should be banned from the Summer Games for missing a drug test.
The national sports stars remained hospitalized with cuts and bruises from a motorcycle accident.
Their lawyer asked an International Olympic Committee disciplinary committee today to push back the hearing for two more days, when the sprinters are expected to be out of the hospital and able to testify.
"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," lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said.
IOC committee spokesman Francois Carrard said the panel agreed to another delay because it wanted to give the sprinters a chance to defend themselves in person. Their lawyer assured the committee that this would be the last delay.
"He personally committed himself to bring both athletes on Wednesday," Carrard said.
Second postponement
It was the second time that the hearing has been postponed because of the motorcycle accident last Thursday night. The sprinters originally were scheduled to appear on Friday, but their lawyer got a delay.
The Greek Olympic Committee suspended the athletes from the team on Saturday, pending a final decision by the IOC. Their coach, Christos Tsekos, was also suspended.
Tsekos said today he wasn't sure whether the sprinters would be physically able to participate in the games, even if they're cleared to do so. The track events start on Aug. 20.
Dimitrakopoulos told The Associated Press on Sunday that he would fight any attempt to keep the sprinters out.
"The suspicions are not the reality," Dimitrakopoulos said. "It is not true that our athletes tried to evade doping control."
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 appeal.
Strange case
An IOC disciplinary committee will examine the strange case of the two athletes amid accusations they evaded a drug test at the Olympic village on Thursday.
Hours after Kenteris and Thanou missed the test, they were in a motorcycle wreck that put them in the hospital. Police are looking for evidence that the accident actually happened.
Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter champion, is the country's most celebrated athlete. Thanou, the 100-meter silver medalist in Sydney four years ago, is his training partner.

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