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  • Minos Kyriakou, 75: Greek Tycoon, Sports Chief-Updated


    (ATR) Minos Kyriakou ascended to the heights of sport leadership in Greece after building successful shipping and media enterprises.

    Minos Kyriakou at the flame lighting in Ancient Olympia for the Beijing Olympics, March 2008. (ATR)
    The cigarette puffing tycoon served as the president of SEGAS, the national federation for athletics. That post helped carry him to the presidency of the Hellenic Olympic Committee from 2004 to 2009. He was a member of the IAAF Council from 2004 to 2007.

    Kyriakou died July 2 from a heart attack says a statement from the private hospital in Athens where he was treated. Funeral services were held Tuesday in Athens.

    "I went in person to his funeral services this afternoon with my secretary general as well as the VP of the Academy and expressed our sympathy to his family," Hellenic Olympic Committee president Spyros Capraalos tells Around the Rings.

    "I also informed President Bach and we have the flags, in the HOC offices, the Panathenaic Stadium and the IOA in Olympia, flown at half mast as a mark of respect," says Capralos.

    He defeated Kyriakou for the HOC presidency in 2009 in a pitched campaign that attracted IOC scrutiny.

    As president of the athletics federation during the Athens Olympics, Kyriakou initially rejected international demands to remove sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou
    Kyriakou with Beijing Olympics chief Liu Qi at the 2008 flame lighting. (ATR)
    from the Greek team over doping violations. The controversy generated by the pair overshadowed the opening of the Athens Games. Kenteris, then the defending 200m gold medalist, had been tapped to light the caldron during opening ceremony.

    Kyriakou had no alternative but to go along with the rulings of the IAAF as well as the IOC, which dismissed both athletes from the Athens Games for avoiding drug testers for months before the Olympics.

    Regardless of the scandal, Kyriakou was selected to lead the HOC following the Athens Olympics, but led for one term only

    Kyriakou launched a shipping business in the 1960s. In 1989 he started Antenna Group, a media conglomerate that includes TV and radio stations, internet and publishing.

    He is survived by two sons and a daughter.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.

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