Senator: USADA process is best forum

Updated: June 18, 2004, 6:51 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sen. John McCain on Friday rebuffed track star Marion Jones' request to hold a public hearing into allegations that she violated rules banning the use of steroids.

In a letter to Jones' attorney, McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said he believed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency process was the best forum for her to pursue her case since the committee isn't a court of law or arbitration panel.

``Her request for a committee hearing ignores USADA's jurisdiction over all U.S. Olympic athlete doping cases and the adjudication process adhered to by USADA to resolve such cases,'' McCain wrote in the letter, which was released Friday.

Jones' legal team sent their request to Sen. McCain on Wednesday, when the champion sprinter called for a public hearing she hopes will clear her name and allow her to compete in this summer's Olympic Games in Athens.

Jones is one of the most prominent athletes to testify in a federal investigation into a drug laboratory accused of illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs. She has denied using steroids and hasn't been charged with violating anti-doping rules.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press