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Kenteris, Thanou Are Set To Appeal

Associated Press
Monday, August 16, 2004; Page D12

ATHENS, Aug. 15 -- Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will fight any IOC decision to kick them out of the Olympics for missing a drug test.

"We will appeal," their lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, told the Associated Press on Sunday, outlining the athletes' plans before a hearing Monday with the International Olympic Committee.

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The U.S. swim team endures some choppy waters Sunday.
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Alpha and Omega: Summing up Day 3 in Athens.
Suspended Greek sprinters say they would protest any decision by the IOC to ban them.
Iranian Judo champion is disqualified for a weight violation after refusing to compete against an Israeli athlete.

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The Hellenic Olympic Committee suspended the athletes from the team Saturday, pending a final decision by the IOC. Their coach, Christos Tsekos, was also suspended.

"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. Track competition begins Aug. 20.

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 with cuts and bruises. Police are investigating whether 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.

If the athletes remain hospitalized and cannot go to the hearing, they will be represented by Dimitrakopoulos and Tsekos.

Steroid Humor

Several U.S. track and field athletes -- including sprinter Marion Jones -- have been given out-of-competition drug tests at the team's pre-Olympic training camp at a seaside resort in Crete.

It's no big deal to competitors accustomed to the unannounced knock on the door of their homes and hotel rooms during the year. Javelin thrower Breaux Greer, the acknowledged "character" on the team, addressed the situation with a T-shirt he wore at breakfast one day.

It read, in big letters on the back: "No, I don't take steroids, but thanks for asking." . . .

U.S. cycling coach and USA Cycling President Jim Ochowicz was fined the equivalent of about $162 for giving a bottle of water to a rider outside the approved area during the Saturday's men's road race.

Temperatures topped 100 degrees on parts of the course Saturday, so race officials allowed team cars to pass water and food to riders over an expanded stretch of the course. . . .

Brett Heyl of the District was elected a captain for the canoe/kayak team. Heyl, who attended George Washington University, competes in the single kayak. Bartosz Wolski was also chosen a captain. . . .

David Nalbandian of Argentina has withdrawn from the tennis tournament with a left thigh strain. He'll be replaced by Fred Niemeyer of Canada.

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