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Published: Saturday October 6, 2012 MYT 8:55:00 AM

Greek swimmer wins 277,000 euros compensation for Olympic ban

ATHENS: The Greek Swimming Federation have been ordered to pay 277,000 euros to 100m freestyle swimmer Tonia Machaira for wrongfully excluding her from the Athens 2004 Olympics on the grounds she had failed a drugs test.

Machaira filed a suit for one million euros eight years ago after she was banned from participating in her home Olympics by the federation.

An Athens court decided on Friday to award the swimmer just over one-fourth of the amount she requested, deciding on 150,000 euros plus interest reaching 277,000 euros.

"The bitterness remains the same," Machaira told NovaSport FM radio.

"I wanted to participate in my third and final Olympics after a 20-year career but was denied this. I was always clean."

International drug testing organization WADA confirmed that Machaira had not failed the anti-doping test, as suspected by the Greek federation.

Machaira said that after the ban she walked through the streets of her native island Crete and everyone would look at her and make comments.

"For four months I did not even leave my house. The federation even asked me to return my national team uniform. It was a disgrace," she added.

Her lawyer Giannis Marakakis said: "The federation realized the magnitude of the blunder and tried to convince the sporting public that she was indeed doped. This was criminal behaviour which has remained unpunished." - AFP

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