Greek Tragedy: Two Athletes Shipped Home from Olympics
The woes of the Greek athletes fail to end. On Thursday, a day after triple-jumper, Voula Papachristou, was sent back from London for her racist remark on Twitter, high jumper and world indoor champion, Dimitris Chondrokoukis, failed a drug test and was asked to pack his bags.
Chondrokoukis has tested positive for a banned steroid, stanozolol, the same substance made notoriously popular by sprinter Ben Johnson in 1988. The Greek contingent has now been reduced to 103 from 105.
.Chondrokoukis father, Kyriakos, who is also the coach of the 24-year-old, said in a statement that, "Although we believe the story is unrealistic, we have no intention to challenge the result of this test. Instead we have been instructed to consider the second sample, and then to send both samples to another accredited laboratory."
But the damage has already been done to Chondrokoukis reputation, who clinched the top position at this year's World Indoor Championships in Istanbul with a personal-best lunge of 2.33 meters.
This second blow comes in the wake of triple jumper Voula Papachristou being ejected from the squad after tweeting, "With so many Africans in Greece, at least the
mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food", in an obvious reference to the appearance of Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens.
Though she was quick to delete the message, it had caused her career irreparable damage. She was immediately branded xenophobic and the Greek Olympic Committee was quick to denounce the comment as "contrary to the values and ideals of the Olympic movement".
Papachristou said in a statement: "I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account." She went on to add that she was sorry and embarrassed for the negative responses the comment triggered.
Papachristou said it was not her intention to offend anyone, or to encroach somebody's human rights. "My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races."
She also asked for forgiveness from her friends, fellow athletes and team officials, saying she had offended and shamed the national team, as well as sponsors of the contingent.
Just days before the Olympics Games begins and a Greek triple jumper is pulled from the national team for posting a racist tweet
Greek athlete pulled from Olympic team after tweet
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