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Greek hurdler banned 2 years

27 November 2008
www.universalsports.com

Former Olympic hurdles champion Fani Halkia has been suspended for two years for doping, Greek sports officials said Thursday.

 

Halkia -- the 400-meter hurdles gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics -- was expelled from the Beijing Games this year after testing positive for the steroid methyltrienolone.

 

Officials from the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics, or Segas, said Thursday that the 29-year-old Halkia had been given the ban at a board meeting of the sporting body held on Wednesday.

 

The ban is effective from August, Segas said.

 

Halkia denies any wrongdoing and suggested tampered diet supplements may be responsible for the failed doping tests.

 

Fifteen Greek athletes were found to have taken methyltrienolone ahead of the Beijing Olympics, including Halkia and 11 members of the national weightlifting team.

Segas has already handed out two-year bans to Greek sprinters Tassos Gousis and Dimitris Regas, who also failed doping tests this year.

 

In the wake of the scandal, the International Olympic Committee filed a lawsuit against Halkia's coach, George Panagiotopoulos, requesting his prosecution in Greece.

IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch traveled to Greece to testify at a judicial investigation into the spate of doping cases.

 

Last month, Halkia was charged with steroid use, an offense that carries a penalty of two years in jail.





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