Kenteris, Thanou to stand trial Monday on charges of perjury

Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will stand trial Monday on perjury charges relating to their alleged motorcycle accident and missed doping test before the 2004 Olympics.

Judicial officials said Thursday the duo would be tried along with Kenteris' coach, Christos Tzekos, who is charged with importing illegal substances.

The athletes, both Olympic medalists at the 2000 Sydney Games, are accused of making false statements and prompting doctors to issue false testimony regarding their wounds. A subsequent examination by a forensic surgeon had found no evidence of injuries.

It marks the first court appearance by the two athletes since the murky events of Aug. 12, 2004, the eve of the Athens Games' opening ceremony, when they claimed to have been in an accident while riding Tzekos' motorcycle on the way back to the Olympic Village, causing them to miss a doping test. They were taken to the hospital, where they remained for four days before being released.

The incident involving the athletes was one of the worst scandals to hit the Athens Games.

The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of one year and could be bought off or suspended, reports AP.

Two eyewitnesses to the supposed road mishap are also on trial for perjury, and seven doctors at the Athens hospital where the runners were taken stand accused of breach of duty and making false statements.

Also Thursday, the Greek Olympic Committee's Ethics Commission said it has suspended top Greek athletics official Vassilis Sevastis due to his involvement in a cover-up of a drug-related incident last August involving high jumper Lambros Papakostas.

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