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The Olympic Games have opened in Greece with a spectacular ceremony, but with the host nation's dreams in tatters after two of its star athletes missed a drugs test.

Greece welcomed the games home to its birthplace almost 3,000 years ago with an extravaganza of light, sound, music and flames in an action packed three-and-a-half hour show.

The Olympic Stadium, its swirling roof finally complete, was crammed with 72,000 flag waving, cheering fans as the ceremony began.

And they were joined by billions of TV viewers worldwide.

Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were at the event, along with a host of statesmen, world leaders and stars.And Team GB and athletes from 202 other competing nations united in a parade through the stadium.

They put swept aside the shadow hanging over the sporting integrity of the Games.

Greek 'God' Kostas Kenteris, the Olympic gold medallist at 200m, should have been lighting the Olympic flame in a high point to the show - but is now under investigation after missing a drugs test, along with Sydney 200m silver medallist Katerina Thanou.

Both could be banned as a punishment.

Despite this, the Greeks put on an unforgettable show - the focus being an expanse of water filling the centre of the arena around which almost 2,500 costumed volunteers performed.


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