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Greek sprinters being investigated


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Prosecutors have begun investigating the hospital records concerning Costas Kenteris' motorcycle accident
SPECIAL REPORT
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- A prosecutor has begun scrutinising hospital records concerning Greece's top two sprinters, who missed doping tests and later withdrew from the Olympics.

Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, both medal winners in Sydney four years ago, said they had a motorcycle accident hours after they missed the doping tests on the eve of the Games, and stayed hospital for four days.

"The prosecutor wants to see what the doctors had diagnosed and what the hospital had announced to the press regarding their injuries in order to see if it matches with the medical examiner's report," said a source.

The medical examiner who checked on the athletes during their stay in hospital had found "only scratches" on Kenteris and reported that Thanou had suffered no injuries, while the hospital doctors' initial diagnosis spoke of Kenteris' head injuries and several sprains and bruises on Thanou's body.

Some media reports suggested the sprinters had staged the accident. They have both denied taking any illegal drugs.

Kenteris won a gold medal in the 200 meters in Sydney and Thanou won the 100 meters silver medal.

The case clouded the start of the Athens Games, which have since seen two athletics gold medallists forfeit their titles following failed doping tests and anti-doping rule violations.

Ten athletes have been excluded from the Games since the start on August 13, either for anti-doping violations or testing positive for banned substances.


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