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Lawyer: Test vindicates doping denials

6/18/2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the latest attempt to clear her name
from drug allegations, Marion Jones took a lie detector test that
her lawyer says vindicates the star sprinter.

Jones took the test from Ronald Homer, a certified polygraph
examiner, on Wednesday and her attorney, Joseph Burton, sent the
results to the United States Anti-Doping Agency on Thursday.

"The passing of the polygraph just vindicates and supports
fully the position Marion has taken through all of this time,"
Burton said on a conference call. "That's the position that she
never, ever used performance-enhancing drugs at any time from
anybody at all. This polygraph examination fully proves that."

USADA spokesman Rich Wanninger said the agency wouldn't comment
on a specific case but that "all credible information will receive
the appropriate consideration."

Jones was asked two questions about performance-enhancing drugs
in the exam and Homer determined that she was telling the truth.
Homer spent more than 20 years as a polygraph examiner for the FBI.
Another examiner concurred after conducted a blind analysis of the
results.

The questions Jones was asked and answered "no" to were:

-- Did you ever personally use performance-enhancing drugs?

-- Are you now lying about any personal use of
performance-enhancing drugs?

While the term "performance-enhancing drugs" was not defined,
Burton said he took it to mean "anything that was illegal or
improper."

Jones is one of the most prominent athletes who testified in a
federal probe of a Bay Area drug lab accused of illegally
distributing steroids.

USADA is investigating Jones for possible doping violations. She
met with doping officials last month to discuss their evidence, and
received a letter from the agency last week asking follow-up
questions.

USADA is building cases based on documents and other
circumstantial evidence deriving from the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative case. Athletes can be banned without a positive drug
test.

"Certainly in our opinion, they have more than ample reason to
close this matter and exonerate Marion Jones," Burton said. "This
matter should be over if there is any fairness in the process. ...
Marion has done everything possible to put this matter behind
her."

Jones has already testified before a federal grand jury and
answered questions in private from USADA officials last month.
Burton said she would consider taking another lie detector test if
USADA asked to conduct it.

She said in a news conference Wednesday that she would only
answer further questions from USADA in a public forum and called on
the Senate to hold a hearing. Her legal team sent a letter to Sen.
John McCain, R-Ariz., the chairman of the Senate Commerce
Committee, on Wednesday to formally request a hearing.

Earlier Thursday, World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound said
Jones' call for a public hearing was a "grandstand performance,"
and he accused her of trying to avoid proper anti-doping hearing
procedures.

"I don't think that an athlete for whatever reason is able to
subvert that process," Pound said in a conference call from
Montreal. "I think it was very unfortunate that Marion was advised
to use words like secret court with respect to USADA."