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Two Positive Lifters From Greece In Pescara PDF Print E-mail

Lights out for Greek weightlifting?
By HellenicAthletes Staff

Wednesday, July 1 2009 10:25:42 AM


ATHENS, July 1 (HA.com) – If Greek weightlifting fans believed the sport would turn itself around following the doping nightmare of 2008, they woke up this morning to learn that they were sadly mistaken.

It was reported Tuesday evening that two Greek weightlifters that were competing at the Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy, had failed doping tests taken 30 days earlier.  On Wednesday, the Greek Weightlifting Federation (EOAB) confirmed the news as well as the names of the athletes.


The “A” samples of Nikos Kourtidis, 23, who on Tuesday won two gold medals in the men's 94-kg category, and Konstantina Lapou, 19, who took silver in the women's 58-kg on Sunday, tested positive, according to unconfirmed reports, for stanozolol.  Both have returned to Athens.

The tests were administered by the domestic anti-doping agency 'ESKAN' on June 1 at the team’s preparatory training base in Cyprus.  Lapou reportedly also returned a positive from a test conducted by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on May 14, and analyzed in Cologne, Germany.

Pyrros Dimas, the federation president, learned of the positive tests on Tuesday evening at 8:05 pm, local time, after Kourtidis had competed and won his medals. 

As is customary, the EOAB will await the results of the “B” samples of both athletes before any potential disciplinary action is taken.

This follows the news from earlier this month that the talented young lifter Tasos Triantafillou had also tested positive for an illegal stimulant at the European Union weightlifting championships in Poland in March.

This latest news may be a final blow to Greek weightlifting as it currently stands, as it is expected the entire team could be banned from international competition by the IWF, if this news is confirmed by the “B” samples, given the growing number of national team positives. 



Dimas’ storied reputation is also on the line, having agreed to take over at the helm of the ailing sport in late 2008.

Kourtidis, penned in as the rising star of Greek weightlifting with his growing tally of medals, and the promising Triantafillou, escaped the carnage of March 2008, when their samples came back negative for Methyltrienolone, a banned substance.  The news that 11 other members of the team had tested positive, however, rocked Greece and the weightlifting world, making it the worst doping scandal the country had ever seen.

The 11 members of the national team (Victor Mitrou, Artouros Akritidis, Kostas Papadopoulos, Vasilis Konstantinidis, Dimitris Papageridis, Maria Pipiliaridou, Anna Athanasiadi, Olympia Toka, Eleni Kourtelidou, Vasiliki Kasapi and Katerina Roditi) were subsequently banned from competition for two years.  The famed coach Christos Iakovou was also suspended and then entered early retirement.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, three more cases had already been confirmed in 2009 with two of the athletes receiving two-year suspensions.  The third, Triantafillou, received a 4-year ban from the IWF.


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