Greek sprinters withdrew Wednesday
ATHENS, Greece -- A prosecutor looking into the suspicious motorcycle accident involving Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou wants to take a closer look at the injuries sustained by the athletes, a judicial source said Thursday.
Prosecutor Haralambos Lakafosis, overseeing the investigation into the accident, wants to question some of the doctors at Athens' KAT hospital, a senior source in the Athens prosecutor's office told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The medical condition of the two athletes is considered a key part of the investigation into the accident and could answer allegations that it might not have taken place or was staged.
The wreck was reported on the night of Aug. 12, hours after the two sprinters missed a drug test at the Olympic Village. They were hospitalized with cuts and bruises, which prolonged an International Olympic Committee probe into whether they evaded the test.
Both withdrew from the games Wednesday.
A statement issued by the hospital on Aug. 13 said the 31-year-old Kenteris suffered "cranial trauma,'' whiplash and open wounds on his lower leg. Thanou sustained abdominal bruises, injuries to her right hip and a muscular injury to her right upper leg.
There have been reports that the statement does not match a report from medical examiner Philipos Koutsaftis, who looked at the athletes on Aug. 16.
The examiner's report said that he noticed a few cuts on Kenteris' right leg and left elbow, and detected no significant injuries to Thanou four days after the accident, according to reports.
Kenteris' lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, denied allegations of any wrongdoing by the athletes.
Dimitrakopoulos said that when they discovered they were being sought by the International Olympic Committee for a doping test, they took the motorcycle to quickly return to the Olympic Village from the home of their coach, Christos Tsekos.
"It is a well-known fact to all Greeks that Kostas Kenteris normally rides motorbikes. They got onto the bike and swiftly set out for the Olympic Village to say, 'We are here. We're not hiding,' and unfortunately, this accident occurred -- which is traumatizing, which is real -- they were injured and these injuries have been certified by six top doctors from our country,'' Dimitrakopoulos told Associated Press Television News.
He conceded, however, that "when an atmosphere of mistrust has been created I understand when people look on this accident with wariness. But the truth is that this was a real accident, and I have to emphasize here that when they entered the Olympic hospital, they didn't hide themselves.''
Greek government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, who has said many "unanswered questions remain''' in the case, promised Thursday that authorities would leave no stone unturned in their effort to discover the truth about the case involving Kenteris and Thanou.
"The political decision taken by the government is not to allow anything to be covered up,'' Roussopoulos said.
He said the government was waiting for chief prosecutor Dimitris Papagelopoulos to finish his investigation before commenting on the case.
Papagelopoulos was expected to be given the results of the investigation on Friday. He will then review the case and decide whether more statements are needed. He will then press charges if he determines any laws were broken. It was unclear when he would do that, but such decision could take a couple of weeks.
Roussopoulos said the government was confident the prosecutor would carry out a full investigation and did not feel the need to begin its own probe of the state-run KAT.
"We won't scorn the prosecutor,'' Roussopoulos said of the government's decision to not to carry out its own investigation. "We are not putting on a show here, we are looking for the substance, which is the prosecutor's job.''
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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