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Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Greek hurdler hit by two-year ban

Fani Halkia
Halkia was sent home just days before she was to compete in Beijing

Former Olympic champion Fani Halkia has been suspended from athletics for two years, according to Greece's national athletics federation (Segas).

Halkia, who won gold in the 400m hurdles in 2004, was removed from the 2008 Games after testing positive for banned steroid methyltrienolone.

Segas has backdated the ban to August when Halkia failed the test in Beijing.

The 29-year-old is also facing a possible prison sentence after being charged with using banned substances.

Greek sprinters Tassos Gousis and Dimitris Regas have also been charged by prosecutors for using methyltrienolone.

And Halkia's coach George Panagiotopoulos has been charged with supplying banned substances.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing.

Halkia was expelled from the Olympics earlier this year after testing positive just days before she was due to compete.

And in August, the IOC rejected Halkia's defence that she had never used the steroid and that her sample had been subject to "acts of tampering by third parties".

Halkia was a relative unknown before winning gold in Athens, where she set a new Olympic record of 52.77 seconds in the semi-finals.

see also
Prosecutors charge Greek hurdler
31 Oct 08 |  Athletics
Greek Halkia officially expelled
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Greek sprinter fails drugs test
09 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Greek champion fails drugs test
17 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Bulgarian runner fails drugs test
15 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Halkia sends Greece wild
25 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Find your local athletics club
13 Oct 05 |  Get Involved


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