Channel Reports Greek Gold-Medal Hurdler Tested Positive, Left Beijing

Fani Halkia, who won gold in the women's 400 meters hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, has tested positive for a banned substance, the Greek TV station Skai TV reported Saturday.

A spokesman for the Greek Olympic team told The Associated Press that a Greek athlete had tested positive and had left the Olympic village in Beijing, but he declined to name her. He said it was only the first sample and that officials would wait for a second sample before identifying the athlete.

Spokesman Tasos Papachristou said the athlete was denying the allegation.

"She says she did not take anything," he said.

Halkia was tested a few days before the Beijing Olympics in Japan, where Greece's track and field team had been training.

Another Greek TV station, Mega Channel, reported that an athlete had tested positive for the banned steroid methyltrienolone, but did not name the athlete.

Greek sprinter Tassos Gousis was sent home a few days before the Olympics after he tested positive for methyltrienolone. And sprinter Katerina Thanou was also barred from the games for her role in a drug-testing scandal at the Athens Games four years ago.