Drugs, Politics Mar Olympics

Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris, seen here Aug. 18, 2004, and Katerina Thanou pulled out of the Athens Games after they missed a drug test and were later hospitalized following a suspicious motorcycle crash. Kenteris is his country's most celebrated athlete and was Greece's best hope for gold in track at the Athens Games.
AP
When Greece's two best hopes for Olympic Gold withdrew from the games rather than face a drug inquiry -- it gave a whole new meaning to the term "Olympic upset," reports CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan.

First ashamed, now Greece is angry, claiming two of its own are being picked on.

It is the latest accusation in an increasingly nationalistic tone here that is threatening to turn the five Olympic rings into a three-ring circus.

News programs in Greece have become a soup of Olympic innuendo and scandal -- with charges flying that American athletes are getting preferential treatment.

The front page of an Athens gossip sheet slammed the U.S. for playing "Hide and Seek" with sprinter Maurice Green -- hinting that his coaches are shielding him from IOC drug testers.

It charged Sweden was doing the same thing.

Then came Iran -- whose judo champion carried his country's flag during the opening ceremonies.

But a day later he refused to face an Israeli opponent. A government spokesman said it was against Iran's policy to "recognize the Zionist regime."

That particular bombshell was difused only after the Iranian came in overweight and was disqualified. But it was another slice of the political grumblings here leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

Even before the games started, U.S. athletes were told not to be too American -- a polite way of saying the U.S. isn't exactly the world's favorite country right now.

"They asked us not to hang flags in the village and I feel that kinda doesn't show our pride as much as we have in the past," said U.S. swimmer Dan Ketchum.

There's no denying the pride of the athletes competing here -- win or lose. But when pride begins to mix politics - the results offer very little to cheer about.