Athletics' drugs chief Arne Ljungqvist has admitted the cases of humiliated Greek sprint duo Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will not be completed until well after the Olympic Games have finished.

Defending 200metres champion Kenteris and 100m Sydney silver medallist Thanou dramatically pulled out of the Games yesterday despite continuing to protest they had done nothing wrong.

The move ended any hope the pair may have had of competing in front of their home crowd in Athens but, on the day the Games returned to their spiritual home in Olympia, at least gave organisers some respite from a story that has completely overshadowed the first week of competition.

Yet, according to Ljungqvist, chief medical officer for the IAAF who are now handling the case, the whole sorry saga is nowhere near a conclusion yet.

He said: "This case won't be dealt with fully until way after the Olympics are over. People not being at the site they are supposed to be when our testers call is a very serious issue and needs to be followed up very carefully. But there could also be legitimate reasons why the athletes have missed the tests, so we must carry out a proper investigation."

 Filed by Mark O'Neill-Cummins