Olympic 400-metres hurdles champion Fani Halkia of Greece has tested positive for steroids just hours before she was due to compete at the Beijing Games on Sunday. ( dpa )
Greek Olympic officials said that Halkia was on her way back to Greece after disputing that she had doped deliberately.
She was reportedly caught using the same steroid, methyltrienlon, used by a swimmer, a sprinter and 11 weightlifters from the country in recent weeks.
"I am shocked. I don't know what happened. I am always cautious with what I take in," Halkia told an early-morning news conference.
The test was reportedly conducted a few days ago at a training camp in Fukuoka, Japan, by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which suggests she was targeted by drug testers.
Halkia faces a two-year ban if the examination of the b-sample confirms the original finding.