- Title: FILE: Greece's Thanou says she will run at Games
- Date: 25th July 2008
- Summary: PHOTO OF THANOU AND KENTERIS ON NEWSPAPER
- Embargoed: 9th August 2008 13:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA35C7QT047TKJZAY3N6BQQ0KVF
- Story Text: Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou wants to forget the 2004 doping scandal in Athens and insists she will compete at the Beijing Olympics.
Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, who was at the heart of a doping scandal at the Athens Olympics four years ago, said on Wednesday (July 23) she intended to compete at next month's Beijing Games.
A Greek Olympic Committee (HOC) official told Reuters that Thanou contacted them and said "she intended to race at the Olympics."
Thanou achieved the qualifying time some 10 days ago and was already a member of the Olympic squad.
It was not clear yet when Thanou would leave for China as the first heats for the 100 metres are set for Aug. 16.
Thanou, along with fellow sprinter Costas Kenteris, was banned for two years after missing a drugs test on the eve of the Athens Games and allegedly crashing a motorcycle.
Her decision will not be welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have said if Thanou travels to Beijing to compete, they would examine her eligibility.
The IOC urged the two runners to withdraw from the Athens Olympics after their affair overshadowed the start of the Games and said it reserves the right to investigate her eligibility after the athletes voluntarily withdrew from the Athens Games, handing in their Olympic accreditations.
The IOC has also written to the HOC informing them of their intentions should Thanou travel to China.
Thanou still faces charges in Greece for staging the bike crash with Kenteris. Their trial has been set for early 2009.
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