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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Sprint duo drop drugs ban appeals
Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou
Kenteris and Thanou missed three drugs tests
Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou have dropped their appeals over bans for missing drugs tests in 2004.

The Greek sprinters agreed a deal with governing body the IAAF acknowledging they breached rules by missing three dope tests ahead of the 2004 Olympics.

"The proceedings are now at an end," said the IAAF in a statement.

The runners had been provisionally suspended by world governing body on 22 December, 2004, and will remain banned until the same date this year.

The move comes on the day that an appeal by Kenteris and Thanou against their suspension had been scheduled to start at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

BBC Sport understands they withdrew their appeal and acknowledged they had broken anti-doping rules in return for the IAAF dropping the two most serious charges against them - of evasion and refusal.

It was a big surprise to us, totally unexpected

Matthieu Reeb
Secretary-general
Court of Arbitration for Sport
After missing drug tests on the eve of the Athens Games, both athletes spent four days in a hospital after claiming they were injured in a motorcycle crash.

Kenteris, the 200m gold medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Thanou, who won women's 100m silver, later withdrew from the Games.

The Greek track and field federation cleared them in March 2005 of deliberately evading the tests, saying they had not been properly notified.

But the IAAF appealed to CAS in a bid to overturn the Greek ruling and impose minimum two-year bans.

On 15 May, CAS rejected the runners' bid to have the provisional suspensions lifted pending a final ruling.

Matthieu Reeb, CAS secretary-general, told Reuters news agency the court had not expected the deal between the athletes and the IAAF.

"It was a big surprise to us, totally unexpected," Reeb said. "We had set aside three days for the hearing and we heard this morning that an agreement had been reached between the parties and the appeal was withdrawn." He added: "In accordance with IAAF regulations, they will have to undergo some doping controls prior to competing again."

The IAAF added on Monday: "The parties are pleased in the interests of the sport that this long-running dispute has been brought to a conclusion."

Kenteris and Thanou still face criminal charges in Greece arising from the motorcycle crash at the heart of the case.



SEE ALSO
Kenteris protests innocence again
15 Jun 05 |  Athletics
Greece pair face IAAF challenge
27 May 05 |  Athletics
Greek sprinters suspended by IAAF
22 Dec 04 |  Athletics


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