Leonidas Sabanis

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Leonidas Sabanis
Personal information
Born28 October 1971 (1971-10-28) (age 47)
Korçë, Albania

Leonidas Sabanis (sometimes spelled Leonidas Sampanis Greek: Λεωνίδας Σαμπάνης, Albanian: Luan Shabani) is a Greek retired[1][2] weightlifter, who represented Greece in 1996, 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. He has also been a World Champion representing Greece.

Early life & career[edit]

A Greek,[1] Sabanis was born Luan Shabani on 28 October 1971 in southern Albania.[1][3]

Results representing Albania[edit]

At the European Championship in Athens, Greece, in 1989, Sabanis represented Albania as Luan Shabani and won a bronze (big) medal in the 56 kg category. He was the first Albanian to win a medal at a European Championship.[4] A year later, at the European Championship in Aalborg (Denmark) in 1990, Sabanis won a silver (big) medal, and the first such medal for Albania.[5][6]

Results representing Greece[edit]

Sabanis emigrated to Greece in 1991 and represented Greece starting from 1993. He won a silver medal in the 59 kg category at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States and in the 62 kg category in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Sabanis was originally awarded a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, but the medal was later stripped from him as a result of a doping scandal.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "ANT1-Radio". hri.org. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Weightlifting Mystery: What really happened in the Leonidas Sabanis doping case? *Exclusive Interview*". Hellenic-Athletes.com. 18 June 2010. Leonidas Sampanis: Born 20 October 1971 in Korytsa...
  3. ^ Besnik Dizdari, Godelli’s unique medal collection, International Weightlifting Federation, retrieved 2013-09-28, A few famous athletes became World Champions or/and Olympic medal winners under the flag of Greece, but were born and practicing weightlifting for a while in Albania, such as: Pirro Dimas (Pyrros Dimas), Luan Shabani (Leonidas Sabanis), ...
  4. ^ "European Championships From 1907 to Today". Childovski.
  5. ^ "Eurolympic History of Albania". www.eurolympic.org. December 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  6. ^ "European Championships From 1907 to Today". Childovski.
  7. ^ Associated Press (August 23, 2004). "Ancient Olympia's First Female Winner Stripped of Medal". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-05.