Greek media put country's honour above athletes


The honour of Greece lies above individual athletes and no backstage antics should compromise it, Greek media said today, after the country's top athletes were suspended from the team under a cloud of doping suspicion.

Olympic 200 metres champion Costas Kenteris and women's 100 metres silver medallist Katerina Thanou were suspended yesterday pending an IOC hearing into missed drugs tests.

The move puts the onus of a ban back on to the International Olympic Committee, which will hear the pair's explanations tomorrow.

The Sportime daily sports paper ran the word 'guilty' as its front-page headline in red, adding that the Hellenic Olympic Committee's decision to suspend the duo for 48 hours was 'comical'.

In a back page editorial, Sportime's Giorgos Helakis wrote the pair should be punished without fail.

Greek state TV NET presenter Pavlos Tsimas said during his after-midnight show that Greece's image was at stake since the doping suspicions surfaced on Thursday.

"On the eve of the opening ceremony, Greece froze, the world froze. Thankfully, the celebration fixed that for 24 hours, but now again the top news is: are the two top athletes of the country suspect of doping or not?"

"If they are proven guilty, it will reflect not only on them but will taint Greek sport as a whole," Tsimas said.

The Sunday Typos in its editorial wrote that Greece had done too much for these Games to let it all go to waste now.

"Greece overcame its poverty -- because it is poor compared to other hosts -- to create and organise what all Greeks and foreigners admire. We as a people will not allow anyone to tarnish this Greek miracle."

"And we the Greeks will be the first to promise not just the best Games, but the cleanest Games ever".