IOC considers barring Greek sprinter case

Aug. 07, 2008, 11:38 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) The International Olympic Committee held a disciplinary hearing Thursday to consider barring Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou from the Beijing Games for her role in a drug-testing scandal in Athens four years ago.

Thanou and fellow Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris missed doping tests on the eve of the 2004 opening ceremony, and claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident the same day.

The pair eventually pulled out of the games and returned their Olympic accreditations. The IOC did not sanction them but they were later suspended for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Thanou returned to international competition in 2007 and has qualified for the Greek team in the 100 meters for the Beijing Games.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said Thursday the committee had reserved the right in Athens to open disciplinary procedures against Thanou and Kenteris if they sought accreditation for future games.

A three-man panel met Thursday to consider the case, but Rogge said he had not yet received any findings.

The panel will make recommendations to the IOC executive board, which is expected to make a ruling early next week. The women's 100-meter heats are set for Aug. 16.

The IOC can bar athletes from the Olympics if they are considered guilty of improper conduct or bringing the games into disrepute.

The hearing into Thanou's eligibility is not connected to her claim to the 100-meter gold medal won by Marion Jones at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Thanou finished second in that race. Jones was stripped of all five of her Sydney medals after admitting earlier this year that she was doping at the time.

The IOC has not made a decision on the reallocation of Jones' medals.