Kederis and Thanou take easy way out

The disfiguring doping scandal involving Greece's two leading athletes, Konstadinos Kederis and Ekaterini Thanou, came to a messy conclusion here yesterday, as both jumped before they could be pushed, forfeiting their places in these Games "in the national interest".

The disfiguring doping scandal involving Greece's two leading athletes, Konstadinos Kederis and Ekaterini Thanou, came to a messy conclusion here yesterday, as both jumped before they could be pushed, forfeiting their places in these Games "in the national interest".

The pair handed over their accreditations an hour into their hearing with the twice reconvened International Olympic disciplinary committee, thus effectively removing their cases from IOC jurisdiction.

Their cases will now be considered by the International Association of Athletics Federations at a council meeting here on 26 August. "We will ask for all the relevant documents of both cases from the IOC," an IAAF spokesman said.

Both are now liable for two-year bans for evading doping tests. The IOC have added a request to the IAAF to take action, including possible sanctions, against the athletes' coach Christos Tzekos "and all other persons and organisations who may have contributed to the alleged anti-doping rule violations."

The pair are also facing prosecution over allegations that they misled the authorities by saying they were in Chicago training when witnesses have submitted statements that they were seen in Lechion, a two-hour drive from Athens. If convicted, they face up to five years in jail. They also face an investigation by local authorities which could leave them liable to a legal action to recover state support offered over the last five years.

Tzekos, from whom Kederis has distanced himself in the wake of last Thursday's failure to meet testers at the Olympic Village, also faces possible legal recriminations.

According to Greek media reports, the coach has been selling various dietary supplements and substances such as ephedrine, a narcotic on the list of banned substances, via the internet. Such sales by an athletics coach are in violation of a 1999 Greek law.

Kederis emerged from the hearing at the Hilton Hotel amid chaotic scenes to declare that he would not be defending the 200 metres title he won four years ago in Sydney. "With a sense of responsibility and in the national interest, I am retiring from the Olympics," he said.

It was a complete reverse of the stance he had taken 24 hours earlier when leaving the KAT hospital at which he had been detained along with Thanou since their reported motorbike crash soon after midnight on Friday, just hours after drug testers had failed to find them at the Olympic Village. On that occasion the 31-year-old from Lesbos had struck a defiant note, claiming: "After the crucifixion comes the resurrection."

Kederis added that he had no knowledge that he was required to submit to a test last Thursday, and that he was breaking his links with the man who has guided him to Olympic, World and European titles in the space of the last four years.

"I am no longer going to co-operate with my coach Christos Tzekos," he said. "I am adamant, I was never notified to go to the Olympic Village to take the test. Over the last four years, I have gone through over 30 tests with no problems. Greek officials and sporting federations are to blame for this case."

He added: "I will stop running for these Olympic Games. I will continue to run and participate, but not in the Olympics. Some people accuse me that I am using drugs. They do not know me well. Some other people have caused this mix-up."

Moments later, Thanou, also looking startled in the face of the massed camera crews that descended on the hotel, confirmed that she too had handed her accreditation back to the Games organisers.

"I came here today before the IOC committee to submit the facts," she said. "Some Greeks have accused me of taking banned substances but according to the IOC, there is no such issue. The people who are accusing me are the ones who stood by me for photographs after my victories - others do not even know me. It's very difficult for an athlete to withdraw from the Olympic Games, especially when they're in their homeland."

WADA, the world anti-doping agency, tried to test both athletes in Chicago earlier this month, according to IAAF sources. There is also an investigation into whether the two missed a test in Tel Aviv earlier this year.

Leading article, page 32

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas