Hall Jr.: She's cheating other athletes

Updated: July 10, 2004, 11:31 PM ET
Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Olympic sprint champion swimmer Gary Hall Jr. believes sprinter Marion Jones should be banned from track and field competition for life.

Jones is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, although she has repeatedly denied using drugs and has not been charged by USADA.

"It's theft because she's taking away opportunities from other athletes," Hall said Saturday at the U.S. Olympic swim trials. "In an Olympic year, there's only a handful of athletes that get the attention they deserve financially and it's what keeps us going for another four years.

"If she has cheated or if anybody has cheated they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he said. "She should be banned for life."

Jones failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100 meters Saturday night, losing out on a chance to defend her gold medal in the event at the Athens Games. She finished fifth -- two spots out of a berth.

Jones, who won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, still can make the Olympic team if she qualifies in the 200 meters or long jump. Or she could be picked for a relay team.

Hall is trying to make his third Olympic team. He is the defending 50-meter freestyle champion.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press