AFPLONDON — The drug stanozolol should be familiar to any Olympic track and field fan, as that was the "mystery steroid" that took down Canadian gold medal sprinter Ben Johnson after the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Twenty-four years later, it's taken down another championship-caliber athlete: Dimitris Chondrokoukis, who won high jump gold at the 2012 indoor championships in Istanbul, has withdrawn from the London Games after testing positive for the banned substance.
"Despite the fact that we consider this news to be surreal, we do not wish to dispute the result of this test," the letter said, adding that Chondrokoukis and his father might also seek to have both samples later tested at a separate accredited laboratory.
"The paradox of the use of such an easily detectible banned substance by a recent world champion who is under the microscope of doping control authorities, and on the eve of the Olympic Games, is blatantly obvious," Kyriakos Chondrokoukis wrote in the letter. "Against this paradox I will fight, we will fight, to answer and determine what exactly happened."
Gazetta reports that the positive test was detected by French lab WADA, and that his father has resigned as technical director of SEGAS, the governing body of Greek amateur sports.
[ Related: Banned Greek athlete bitter, upset ]
Well, at least Chondrokoukis didn't send out an inappropriate tweet about Africans and the West Nile virus. Baby steps, Greek track team.
The news comes on the same day that Moroccan gold medal track hopeful Mariem Alaoui Selsouli was booted from the Games after testing positive for diuretic furosemide.
She could face a lifetime ban from the sport. According to the Independent, she previously served a two-year suspension from 2009-11 for a doping offense.
In total, nine athletes were banned by the IAAF on Wednesday for violations before the Games:
Six - Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri, Irini Kokkinariou from Greece, Turkey's Meryem Erdogan, Russian Svetlana Klyuka and compatriots Nailiya Yulamanova and Yevgenina Zinurova received bans of between two and four years under the biological passport programme, which measures and monitors athletes' blood variables over time.
Bulgarian Inna Eftimova and Ukrainian pair Nataliya Tobias and Antonina Yefremova returned positive tests for synthetic growth hormone and synthetic testosterone respectively, receiving two-year bans.
Yeah, but how many of them had their fathers write eloquent letters to the Greek media?