Kenteris, Thanou appeal trial opens in Athens

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A Greek court has formally opened the appeal trial of sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, convicted of faking a motorcycle crash after missing a doping test on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The two were found guilty of perjury in May over the scandal -- a major embarrassment to the host nation -- and given suspended 31-month jail sentences that they immediately appealed.

Neither athlete was present in the Athens appeals court Monday, and the case was adjourned for Thursday because of the court's workload.

The May court decision also sentenced the athletes' coach, Christos Tzekos, to 33 months in jail. Seven state hospital doctors who treated the runners and two people who said they witnessed the alleged crash were given sentences of between six and 15 months. All the sentences were suspended.