November 27, 2008 / 4:49 PM / 10 years ago

Athletics-Halkia banned for two years for steroid use

ATHENS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Greek hurdler Fani Halkia has been suspended for two years, the Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS) said.

Halkia, who won the gold medal in the 400 metres hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, was barred from competing in the Beijing Games this year after testing positive for the banned steroid methyltrienolone.

SEGAS said that at a board meeting on Wednesday, SEGAS ruled the ban was effective from August when Halkia was expelled from the Olympics.

“Halkia has been banned from competition for two years,” her lawyer Giorgos Agiostratitis confirmed to Reuters.

Halkia, along with fellow sprinter Tassos Gousis and their coach Georgos Panagiotopoulos, is already facing criminal charges for the use of steroids.

Gousis, who also tested positive for the same substance in the lead-up to the Beijing Games, has already been handed a two-year ban.

They all deny any wrong-doing. (Reporting by Barney Spender, editing by Rex Gowar)

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