ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greece’s athletics federation (Segas) said yesterday the country was a “transit” for banned substances, a day after one of its top athletes withdrew from the London Olympics having failed a dope test.
The federation added drugs tests had dropped to a minimum owing to the country’s economic crisis.
“Greece remains a centre for the storage and transit of banned substances,” the federation said in a statement ahead of the Games opening ceremony yesterday.
“In our country, known traders and traffickers of these substances walk free and with impunity in sports areas,” the statement added.
The announcement came a day after Greece’s world indoor high jump champion Dimitris Chondrokoukis pulled out of the Olympics after testing positive for Stanozolol, the steroid used by disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson in 1988.
Segas added Greece lacked athlete support facilities and that budget cuts forced by a debt crisis now in its third year had starved anti-doping agencies of funds.
“In the last two-and-a-half years, funding for (national antidoping watchdog) ESKAN and the Olympic testing laboratory has ceased, meaning that tests have been limited to a minimum,” the federation said.
Ahead of the Beijing 2008 Games, another steroid — Methyltrienolone — caused the withdrawal of several Greek athletes, including most of the weightlifting squad and top swimmer Yiannis Drymonakos.