Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Ex-husband says Marion Jones has used THG and EPO


The ex-husband of three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones told federal investigators that Jones was using banned performance-enhancing drugs during the 2000 Games in Sydney where she won five medals, two newspapers reported.

The San Francisco Chronicle said C.J. Hunter told Internal Revenue Service investigators pursuing the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case that he personally injected his then-wife with banned substances and saw Jones inject herself with the drugs at their home in Australia.

The San Jose Mercury News, citing anonymous sources, also reported Hunter's charges to the investigators.

Both newspapers had the stories on their Web sites Thursday night.

Human growth hormone, the steroid THG, insulin and the endurance-boosting drug EPO were among the substances Hunter alleged that Jones used.

Hunter, who won a shot put world title in 1999, tested positive for steroids four times in 2000 -- when he was married to Jones, who has adamantly denied using banned substances.

Jones' attorney, Joseph Burton, released a statement to AP on Thursday night accusing Hunter of lying to authorities because he was bitter about the couple's breakup.

"C.J. Hunter has made false statements to federal officials, and we call upon federal authorities to investigate Hunter's conduct as it is a crime to lie to federal investigators," Burton said.

According to Burton, Hunter's comments are contradicted by those made by Trevor Graham, Jones' former coach.

"C.J. Hunter has had an axe to grind ever since Marion Jones ended their marriage," Burton said. "Fortunately, Hunter's efforts to exact his revenge by telling lies to the government are directly contradicted by the statements made to the government investigators of Marion Jones' former coach."

Burton, who never identifies Graham by name, said the former coach "has supported everything Marion has said all along -- that she never used performance enhancing drugs."

Angela DeMent, Hunter's lead attorney, told the Mercury News, "It is totally inappropriate for me or any attorney to publicly comment about the facts of a pending case or pending investigation. That being said, perjury is a serious crime and those who commit that crime should be punished accordingly."

Travis Tygart, director of legal affairs for the US Anti-Doping Agency, would not comment specifically on Jones' case. The agency's investigations are separate from those being conducted by the IRS, but many of the same individuals are being questioned.

"USADA is extremely appreciative of those individuals who come forward with relevant information and USADA is following up on every lead it receives," Tygart said.

Jones, who had three gold medals among the five she won in Sydney, is scheduled to compete in the long jump at next month's Olympics in Athens. She failed to qualify in the 100m at last week's Olympic trials in Sacramento, California, and withdrew from the 200.

Citing investigators' memos, the Chronicle reported that Hunter gave a 2 1/2-hour interview to IRS investigators on June 8 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and had a follow-up call a week later.

During the interview, Hunter alleged that Jones had used banned substances before, during and after the Sydney Olympics.

"Hunter stated that he saw Jones inject herself with EPO," IRS agent Erwin Rogers wrote in one of the memos quoted by the Chronicle. "Jones would inject herself in the front waist line area slightly underneath the skin. ... Initially, Hunter injected Jones because Jones did not want to inject herself in this location."

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