Sun, Nov 25, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Jones' titles stripped from record books


Marion Jones pauses after a question during a news conference in San Francisco on June 16, 2004.


The once-glittering career of Marion Jones shines no longer after her Olympic and world championship titles won in the past seven years were stripped from the record books.

All of her results dating back to September 2000 were annulled by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Friday because of her admission to taking a designer steroid called "the clear" from September 2000 to July 2001.

Track and field's governing body also told her to return any prize-money from that period. But it's her teammates who could also end up paying a price for her doping, having helped her win Olympic medals.

Jearl Miles-Clark, Monique Hennagan, Tasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson were part of the 4x400m relay team in Sydney that won gold. Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson were on the 4x100m relay team that also came first.

The IAAF recommended they be disqualified and lose their medals.

It's now up to the IOC to decide whether Jamaica receives gold in the 4x400m relay and France bronze in the 4x100m relay.

If so, eight other US athletes will be returning their Olympic medals, something Jones has already done.

The IAAF council upheld the two-year ban imposed on Jones by US officials. She retired last month after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators in 2003.

Jones won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and the 4x400m relay in Sydney, as well as bronzes in the 4x100m relay and the long jump. She has agreed to forfeit all results dating from Sept. 1, 2000.

But it's still up to the IAAF and IOC to change the record books and revise the medals.

The IAAF said Jones was disqualified from all competitions since Sept. 1, 2000. The 31-year-old Jones must return all awards, medals and money from that period -- an estimated US$700,000 -- and cannot compete again unless she pays it back.

Athletes who are eventually upgraded stand to receive a share of Jones' prize money, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. However, it is uncertain whether they will ever get the money as Jones is said to be broke.

Jones' doping admission -- and the return of five Olympic medals -- may have prevented the IAAF from seeking a longer ban. As does the fact that her career effectively ended in September 2000, unless she attempts a comeback.

The IAAF did not take a position on whether Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou should be upgraded to the Olympic gold medal in the 100m.

That will be up to the IOC, which has authority over Olympic medals.

Thanou and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris failed to show up for drug tests on the eve of the 2004 Athens Games, claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident and eventually pulled out. They were later banned for two years.

IOC president Jacques Rogge has said there would be no automatic upgrade, and that only "clean" athletes would be moved up in the medals. The IOC -- which holds an executive board meeting next month -- is considering whether to leave the 100m winner's place vacant.

IAAF president Lamine Diack, who has branded Jones "one of the biggest frauds in sporting history," was at the meeting in Monte Carlo but did not speak to reporters.

In Sydney, Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas was the silver medalist behind Jones in the 200m, while Tatiana Kotova of Russia was fourth in the long jump. They could now be awarded gold and bronze by the IOC.

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