Hunter tested positive for steroids in '00

Updated: July 9, 2004, 1:49 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The ex-husband of sprinter Marion Jones appeared before the grand jury in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case on Thursday, a day before the three-time Olympic champion begins her quest to qualify for the Athens Games, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The newspaper said C. J. Hunter refused to comment when asked why he was outside a San Francisco courthouse, but that his attorney, Angela De Ment, said she and Hunter flew from North Carolina to California as part of their cooperation with authorities.

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

Jones, who is scheduled to compete in the preliminary rounds of the 100 meters Friday night at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Sacramento, is being probed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for possible doping. She repeatedly has denied using any performance-enhancing substance.

Hunter spoke with federal investigators and USADA officials last month. Jones was among the dozens of athletes who testified last fall before the BALCO grand jury.

Meanwhile, a federal judge set a hearing for Friday morning on a bid by USADA to get the grand jury testimony of four sprinters whom the agency has charged with doping.

A source familiar with the investigation, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night, said federal investigators have filed papers seeking to block USADA from getting the testimony.

USADA officials earlier this week filed a motion seeking the testimony of Tim Montgomery, Chryste Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison before the BALCO grand jury. Montgomery, the world record holder in the 100, has a 1-year-old son with Marion Jones.

Also Thursday, a federal appeals court in New York affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by middle-distance runner Regina Jacobs challenging USADA's arbitration process. Jacobs tested positive for the steroid THG at last year's U.S. championships, and her case now finally could go to arbitration.

"We maintained from the beginning that this lawsuit was absolutely without merit," said Travis Tygart, USADA's director of legal affairs. "We hope in the future that athletes will not resort to these frivolous attacks on the established process, which is fundamentally fair to all athletes."

Montgomery, Gaines, Collins, Harrison and Jacobs all are entered to compete in the Olympic trials that run through July 18.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press