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Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 13:21 UK

Thanou to fight for Olympic place

By Simon Austin

Katerina Thanou
Thanou ran Greece's 100m Olympic qualifying time last week

Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou has vowed to fight the International Olympic Committee for the right to compete at the Beijing Games.

The 33-year-old was named in Greece's official team for the Games on Tuesday.

However, IOC chief Jacques Rogge is threatening to prevent her taking part following her controversial withdrawal from the 2004 Olympics.

Thanou's lawyer told BBC Sport this would constitute "an abuse of power" and a "violation of human rights".

Gregory Ioannidis added: "Katerina has told me she would like to compete in Beijing and it is my belief that she will do so.

"Those who advocate to the contrary must produce a compelling justification and not simply empty rhetoric.

When Thanou handed over her accreditation, she was no more an Olympic athlete

Jacques Rogge
IOC president

"An attempt to exclude her would constitute an abuse of power, violation of the Olympic Charter and violation of human rights and other certain established principles of law."

Thanou and compatriot Kostas Kenteris both missed a drugs test on the eve of the Athens Olympics and then claimed they were involved in a motorcycle accident.

It was the third time they had missed tests, which resulted in a two-year suspension that expired at the end of 2006.

The pair still face criminal charges of perjury and falsifying evidence in Greece following the motorcycle accident.

The IOC set up a disciplinary commission to investigate the incidents involving the duo.

Thanou and Kenteris turned up to simply surrender their Olympic accreditation, which meant the IOC no longer had jurisdiction over the case.

However, the IOC did issue a press release which stated "that any participation of Kenteris and Thanou... at any further edition of the Olympic Games shall be subject to a new procedure in front of the IOC".

This has led Rogge to suggest he could block Thanou from competing in Beijing.

"When Thanou handed over her accreditation, she was no more an Olympic athlete," he told Germany's DPA press agency last week.

"We said at the time that we would review the eligibility of Thanou for Beijing. So if the Greek Olympic Committee enters Thanou in Beijing, we will study the eligibility. We have the right to do that."

The matter is set to be discussed by the IOC's executive board on 2 and 3 August.

see also
Greece name Thanou for Olympics
15 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Thanou eyes Olympic Games return
28 May 08 |  Athletics
Thanou handed Jones's world medal
01 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Thanou could sue over Jones medal
13 Dec 07 |  Athletics
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Athletics on the BBC
28 May 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics

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