Former Greek sprinter, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, jailed for stealing £12m
Sunday 03 March 2013
Another week, another international sprint star embroiled in courtroom drama. Vassilis Papageorgopoulos might not be as big a name as Oscar Pistorius in the metaphorical sense these days, but in the 1970s he was one of the fastest men on the planet, joint holder of the European 100m record and twice a medallist behind double Olympic champion Valeriy Borzov at the European Indoor Championships.
Indeed, "The Flying Doctor", as the former medical student was christened, remains the only Greek to have won more than one medal at the European indoors – a 50m bronze in Grenoble in 1972 and a 60m silver in Munich in 1976. Now 65, on Wednesday the erstwhile sporting hero suffered a legal backlash after his country's economic and administrative meltdown as he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of embezzling almost $18m (£12m) in state funds.
A court deemed that the local authorities in Thessalonica, Greece's second-largest city, had set up an "embezzlement machine" and that Papageorgopoulos, as the city's mayor, "had been aware of the whole plan but had stayed on the sidelines, feigning ignorance". A prominent member of the right-wing New Democracy party who lead Greece's fragile coalition, he is expected to appeal.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
Latest in Sport
World Masters Athletics Championships: Meet the 95-year-olds still picking up medals
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...
£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...
£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...