Greek police raid weightlifters

Greek police come up empty handed after police raid.

    Greek weightlifting is in chaos [GALLO/GETTY]
    Greek police announced that officers had raided the rooms of the national team's weightlifters searching for drugs but had found none.

    The raid came just days after 11 squad members tested positive for banned substances and was part of an investigation into the affair that has stunned Greeks.

    About 30 police officers and a prosecutor entered the offices of the Greek weightlifting federation and the rooms of athletes at the national sports centre in Agios Kosmas, along Athens' southern coastline.

    "The operation was undertaken to see whether there were any remains of the substances the athletes had taken and then tested positive but nothing was found," a police official said on condition of anonymity.

    "The investigation is continuing."

    The federation has blamed a mistake at a Chinese factory which it said shipped legal nutritional substances that had been accidentally spiked with banned ingredients.

    "The prosecutor visited our offices and we handed over all documents (related to this case)," Weightlifting Federation general secretary Vassilis Gerakaris said.

    "The federation will do whatever is necessary to shed light on this case," he added.

    Chinese conspiracy

    The federation announced on Friday that 11 of the 14 team members tested had provided positive A samples and the squad could face expulsion from the Beijing Olympics in August if their B samples also came back positive.

    The Chinese company said in a letter of apology that a number of banned toxic and cancer-causing substances had been accidentally added in the latest batch of supplements.

    Under the World Anti-Doping Agency code the athletes face a two-year ban if they are first-time offenders and their B samples are positive.

    The case has triggered a judicial investigation, led by an Athens prosecutor, and has shocked Greeks who have held the country's weightlifting team in high esteem.

    The federation has temporarily suspended head coach Christos Iacovou, credited with a big medals haul at recent Olympics.

    Iacovou is set to testify before a special sports ministry committee on Wednesday on the affair.

    Since the 1992 Barcelona Games, the first under Iacovou, Greece has won 12 Olympic weightlifting medals, including five golds.

    Before Barcelona it had not won a weightlifting medal since the 1904 Games.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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