And the Olympic controversy keeps on rolling in. Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, the ghost of the Athens 2004 Olympics when she and Kostas Kenteris 'faked' a motorcycle accident to withdraw from the games, was banned today in a urgent meeting of the IOC inner committee. Thanou came off sanctions to make the Greek track Olympic squad as a sub in 2008. However, it looks like she is gone now. PR-Inside does a good job of discussing the situation (update: link to the IOC decision)(LA Times take)
Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou was barred from the Beijing Olympics by the IOC on Sunday for her role in a drug-testing scandal at the Athens Games four years ago. The International Olympic Committee's executive board took the decision after its disciplinary panel investigated Thanou's selection for the 100 meters for the Greek team, IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said.
Thanou and fellow Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris missed doping tests on the eve of the 2004 opening ceremony, claiming they were injured in a motorcycle accident. The pair eventually withdrew from the games and returned their Olympic accreditations. The IOC did not sanction them at the time but they were later suspended for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Thanou returned to competition in 2007 and was selected in the Greek team.
IOC president Jacques Rogge said earlier that 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 started meeting Thursday to consider the case and made its recommendations to the executive board on Sunday morning. Davies said the executive board accepted the findings that Thanou was ineligible to compete at the Beijing Games under rule 23.2.1 of the Olympic charter.
Thanou finished second to Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and stand to inherit a gold medal for that performance.
IOC text after the jump:
IOC Text on Thanou
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met today in Beijing to reach a decision in the case of Ms Ekaterina Thanou’s participation in the Beijing Olympic Games.
Upon receiving the recommendations of the IOC’s Disciplinary Commission, the EB declared Ms Thanou ineligible to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games under Rule 23.2.1 of the Olympic Charter. In addition, the EB further decided to apply Rule 45.2.2.
Rule 23.2.1 provides for temporary ineligibility as a disciplinary measure or sanction. Rule 45.2.2 allows the IOC to refuse entry to any person at its own discretion. In the case of Ms Thanou its application is intended to firmly signal the IOC’s moral consideration that this case is serious, and that Ms Thanou’s actions in 2004 and subsequently have brought the Olympic Movement into disrepute.
IOC Disciplinary Commission recommendations regarding Ms Ekaterina Thanou (français à suivre)
IOC Executive Board decision regarding Ms Ekaterina Thanou (français à suivre) ###
Notes 1. Olympic Charter – Rule 23.2.1. “with regard to individual competitors and teams: temporaray or permanent ineligibility or exclusion from the Olympic Games, disqualification or exclusion, the medals and diplomas obtained in relation to the relvant infringement of the Olympic Charter shall be returned to the IOC. In addition, at the discretion of the IOC Executive Board, a competitor or a team may lose the benefit of any ranking obtained in relation to other events at the Olympic Games at which he or it was disqualified or excluded in such case the medals and diplomas won by him or it shall be returned to the IOC (Executive Board).
2. Olympic Charter – Rule 45.2.2. “Only NOCs recognised by the IOC may enter competitors in the Olympic Games. Any entry is subject to acceptance by the IOC, which may at its discretion, at any time, refuse any entry, without indication of grounds. Nobody is entitled to any right of any kind to participate in the Olympic Games.”