Greek sprinter fails drugs test

As the Olympics opening ceremony came to an end, Greek state television reported that sprinter Tassos Gousis failed a drugs test taken just before the team headed for a pre-Olympics training session in Japan.


Greek sprinter Tassos Gousis has failed a doping test days before he was due to compete at the Beijing Olympics, state television reported on Friday.

State television said the 29-year-old, who was due to compete in the 200 metres at the Aug. 8-24 Games, tested positive during doping controls conducted by the Greek anti-doping agency ESKAN before the team left for training in Japan.

The date of the test was not revealed. From July 27, the start of the official Olympic period, tests are conducted by the International Olympic Committee until the end of the Games on Aug. 24.

Several Greek athletes, including 11 weightlifters, a boxer and a swimmer, have tested positve for banned substances in the past months following tougher controls imposed by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) and the federations ahead of the Games.

The HOC had said it would increase the number of tests to avoid the embarrassment created by sprinters Katerina Thanou and Costas Kenteris when they missed a scheduled drugs test on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

HOC officials could not be immediately reached for a comment on the positive test which came only hours after the Games' opening ceremony.

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