Olympics: Athens Gold Medal Winner Halkia Fails Drug Test

BEIJING : Greek runner Fani Halkia, who won gold in the women’s 400m hurdles at the Athens Olympics, has tested positive for a banned substance, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Sunday.

The 29-year-old failed the test while in Japan preparing for the ongoing 2008 Beijing Olympics and is now expected to be formally expelled from the Games by the IOC’s disciplinary committee.

According to her entourage, she spoke to members of the Greek press overnight.

This development follows a decision by the IOC to exclude her compatriot, sprinter Ekaterina Thanou from the Beijing Olympics.

The 33-year-old missed the 2004 edition after she and fellow sprinter Kostas Kenteris missed an eve of Games dope test – their third in a year.

Halkia’s case takes the number of positive doping tests confirmed in Beijing to four after those of Spanish cyclist Maria Isobel Moreno, medal-winning North Korean shooter Kim Jong-Su, Vietnamese gymnast Do Thi Ngan Thuong and Bulgarian 1500 metre runner Daniela Yordanova, dropped by her team before her event.

Another Greek athlete, men’s 200 metre runner Tassos Gousis, was recalled from Beijing after testing positive for a prohibited performance drug. He has denied any wrongdoing.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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