Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Jones wants more confidentiality and tests in drugs cases

AP , NEW YORK

For Marion Jones, the latest doping accusations provide an opportunity to inspire change in drug testing across sports.

"I hope really that this whole situation with me is used as a catalyst, a catalyst for more research and testing, a catalyst for better confidentiality," the five-time Olympic medalist said on Friday on the ABC television show "Good Morning America."

After competing for years under a cloud of suspicion, Jones' A sample tested positive for EPO on June 23 at the US track and field championships in Indianapolis, where she won the 100 meters, her 14th national title. But on Wednesday, her attorney released a statement saying the backup B sample was negative. Both samples must test positive for it to be considered a doping violation.

"I was just totally devastated that a mistake like this can happen," Jones said on the show. "I've always said and I will continue to say that I believe in a drug-free sport. I have never, ever taken a performance-enhancing drug. I'm just quite pleased, happy, ecstatic ... that this B sample proves that I've never taken a drug."

Jones, who turns 31 on Oct. 12, plans to waste no time getting back to work.

Coach Steve Riddick said late on Thursday that Jones was aiming to return to the track on Sept. 16 in Athens and then run at a meet in Shanghai a week later.

"If she wants to compete she can. The lab said the B sample was negative," IAAF president Lamine Diack said on Friday.

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