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Walk champ charged

Olympic champion race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka has been charged by Greek prosecutors for using an illegal performance-enhancing drug.

The offence carries a maximum two-year jail sentence.

Court officials say prosecutor Costas Simitzoglou this week charged Tsoumeleka with breaking Greece’s doping laws after she tested positive in January for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-booster EPO.

Tsoumeleka, 27, won the 20-kilometre walk at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She tested positive in a retesting of a sample she provided two days before the Beijing Olympics. A backup sample also came back positive.

Tsoumeleka denies knowingly using the substance and has expressed doubts about the procedure.