Three Greek Athletes Caught Doping

ATHENS – On the same day that Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record, during an international competition, three other Greek athletes were confirmed to have used banned substances, including Greece’s shot put champion.

At the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 18, Stefanidi cleared 4.71 meters to match the national outdoor record that Nicole Kyriakopoulou had registered in August of 2011.

Stefanidi finished third in the event, in which she also matched Europe’s leading performance this year by Lisa Ryzih of Germany. This bodes well ahead of the European championship taking place on August 12-17 in Zurich.

However on the same day the Greek track and field federation (SEGAS) announced that shot put champion Michalis Stamatoyiannis as well as sprinters Theopistos Mavridis and Grigoria Keramida have failed a doping test and are suspended from action pending their hearing, Kathimerini reported. They are likely to get a two-year ban.

That came as Greece staged its 100th national track and field championship, this at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, with the best performances coming from pole vaulter Costas Filippidis (5.60 meters) and long-jumper Louis Tsatoumas (8.08 meters).

A number of Greek athletes in recent years were found to have used banned substances but most of them got away with it or suffered only minor penalties.