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.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli comment: Time running out for 'lost boy' to shine at Liverpool, or anywhere
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently require an experienc...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitve rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Yea...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...