Past Olympics Athletes >> Marion Jones

Track and Field

Marion Jones

Date of birth

1975-10-12

Birthplace

Los Angeles

Height

179 cm

Weight

70.0 kg

Discipline

100m ,200m, relays and long jump

Olympic Games

  • 100m: 1st (2000 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • 200m: 1st (2000 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • 4x100m relay: 3rd (2000 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • 4x400m relay: 1st (2000 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • Long jump: 3rd (2000 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007), 5th (2004)

World Championships (4 medals - 3 gold, 1 bronze)

  • 100m : 1st (1997, 1999), 2nd (2001 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • 200m: 1st (2001 - medal withdrawn after doping admission in 2007)
  • 4x100m relay: 1st (1997)
  • Long jump: 3rd (1999)

Jones' fairytale turns Grimm

American sprinter Marion Jones needs little introduction. The one-time pin-up and outright star of the Sydney Games has become a controversial figure since her career dipped into a flood of unproven accusations and circumstantial evidence of doping that will forever taint her reputation.

At the 2000 Summer Games Jones put in one of the all-time-great athletics performances by winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m races and winning bronze in the long-jump and 4x100m race.

At the time she was arguably the most famous athlete in the world but she has steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs after being dragged through the mud of the BALCO steroid distribution investigation.

BALCO founder Victor Conte claimed he supplied Jones with and saw her take performance-enhancing drugs. Jones then sued Conte for 25 million dollars in damages for defamation, but dropped the charges after an undisclosed out of court settlement.

Jones' ex-husband and partner at the time of her greatest triumph CJ Hunter, himself thrown out of the Australian Olympics over a doping offence, later claimed he had seen Jones inject steroids around the time of Sydney.

The next man in her life, the ex-sprinter Tim Montgomery, the father of Jones' son, also ended his career in disgrace, being banished and having his world 100m record run erased based on evidence collected in the BALCO probe, though he had never tested positive to a dope test.

The struggle for respect

Jones shouldered the weight of the accusations at the 2004 Olympic trials and failed to qualify for Athens in the two individual events she had won at Sydney, the 100 and 200m sprints.

She did however make the cut for a tilt at the two crowns she missed out on in the 2000 Games: the long-jump and the 4x100m.

But out in Greece she lacked her usual sparkle on the runway ending the long-jump fifth while later that day she was involved in a baton change blunder in the 4x100 metres relay which left the United States quartet out of the medals for the first time since 1980.

She ended those Games weeping bitter tears of frustration but has launched a comeback that she hopes will propel her to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she will be 32 years old.

Even in 2006 a leaked 'A' test result tested positive for EPO before the 'B' test was returned negative, clearing her to continue competition where in Paris on July 8 that year, Jones broke the 11-second barrier for the first time since 2002 to win the women's 100m in 10.92sec at a Golden League meet.

Born in Los Angeles in 1975, her mother is originally from Belize but moved to the United States in 1968. Jones first excelled at basketball, where her prowess lifted the University of North Carolina to the NCAA title.

But her earlier calling of the track proved too strong and a 100m triumph at the 1997 world championships in Athens ushered in a new era in women's athletics.

She was once adamant it was only a matter of time before she toppled the late Florence Griffith-Joyner's 100 metre record of 10.49sec.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.



Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Moment in Time