Greek court clears hurdler Halkia of intentional doping

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) An Athens court has ruled that Greek former hurdler Fani Halkia did not intentionally take illegal performance-boosting drugs that led to her expulsion from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Athens Court of Appeal also ruled on Friday that Halkia's coach, Giorgos Panagiotopoulos, did not intentionally supply her with the steroid methyltrienolone, her lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said.

The 2004 Olympic 400-meter hurdles champion said she unwittingly took the steroid that was contained in a food supplement. In court, her lawyers claimed that Halkia had no incentive to take methyltrienolone as it does not help track and field athletes.

Last year, a lower court convicted Halkia of intentional doping, and handed her a seven-month jail sentence. That was suspended, pending her appeal.

After testing positive, Halkia was suspended for two years for doping.