Athanasia Tsoumeleka

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Athanasia Tsoumeleka
Personal information
Born (1982-01-02) 2 January 1982 (age 37)
Country  Greece
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 20 km walk
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 1:29.12

Athanasia Tsoumeleka (Greek: Αθανασία Τσουμελέκα, [aθanaˈsia tsumeˈleka], born January 2, 1982) is a Greek race walker, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Until 2003 Tsoumeleka was a largely unknown athlete, and she only finished seventh at the World Championships that year. To everybody's great surprise, she won the Olympic gold medal race held in her own country ahead of Russia's Olimpiada Ivanova (silver) and Australia's Jane Saville (bronze).

In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, she finished 9th in 20 km walk. After the end of the Games, a urine sample she had given on August 6 tested positive for erythropoietin, when subjected to a new test for CERA.[1] Tsoumeleka expressed doubts about the validity of the procedure, and then announced her immediate retirement from the sport.[1] On April 29, 2009 it was announced that Tsoumeleka had tested positive for CERA in a test on a blood sample provided during the 2008 Olympics.[2] Her "B" sample also tested positive for CERA.[3] On November 18, 2009 the International Olympic Committee decided to disqualify Tsoumeleka from the Women's 20 km Walk event of the 2008 Olympic Games where she placed 9th.[4]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Greece
2000 World Junior Championships Santiago, Chile 4th 10,000m 47:10.96
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 9th 20 km 1:31:25 SB
2003 European U23 Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 1st 20 km 1:33:55
World Championships Paris, France 7th 20 km 1:29:34 NR
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 1st 20 km 1:29.12 PB
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 20 km DSQ
2008 World Race Walking Cup Cheboksary, Russia 14th 20 km 1:30:40
Olympic Games Beijing, PR China DSQ 20 km 1:27:54


  1. 1.0 1.1 Associated Press (January 17, 2009). "Ex-Olympic champion tests positive for EPO".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Grohmann, Karolos (April 29, 2009). "Beijing 1,500 gold medallist tests positive". Reuters.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Wilson, Stephen (July 8, 2009). "Backup samples positive for 5 Olympians". Associated Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. IOC Disciplinary Commission Decision (November 18, 2009) "IOC source: IOC sanctions five athletes who competed in Beijing" International Olympic Committee