<
>

IOC, track officials acting now to erase all things Jones

10/9/2007

LONDON -- Even though she's handed back her Olympic medals,
the shaming of Marion Jones isn't over yet.

International Olympic and track and field officials are prepared
to wipe her name officially from the record books, strip her of her
world championship medals, pursue her for prize money and
appearance fees and possibly ban her from future Olympics in any
capacity.

The IOC, which opened an investigation into Jones after she was
linked to the BALCO steroids scandal in 2004, can act now that she
has confessed and surrendered the medals.

"We now need to have the official process of disqualification
and maybe other measures like non-eligibility for future games and
so on," IOC vice president Thomas Bach, a German lawyer who leads
the IOC's three-man disciplinary commission on the Jones case, told
The Associated Press.

After long denying she ever had used performance-enhancing
drugs, Jones admitted Friday that she'd taken the designer steroid
"the clear" from September 2000 to July 2001. On Monday, she
returned her five Sydney Olympic medals.

Bach's panel will make recommendations to the ruling IOC
executive board, which next meets in December in Lausanne,
Switzerland. IOC president Jacques Rogge could speed up the process
by ordering a decision by postal vote before then.

Bach said the IOC also will consider whether Jones "should be
eligible to apply for any type of accreditation for Beijing or
beyond." That could mean that she would be banned from attending
future Olympics -- possibly for life -- as a coach, media
representative or any other official capacity.

The IOC probe also could spread wider to include other Olympic
athletes, coaches or officials implicated in the BALCO case.

"The disciplinary commission is studying the whole BALCO
file," Bach said. "Now we hope to finally get all the available
documents, so that we can see whether maybe other people were
involved and whether the Olympic Games are affected."

The International Association of Athletics Federations has
authority over results at the Olympics, while the IOC controls the
medals.

Jones won golds in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 1,600
relay in Sydney, as well as bronzes in the 400 relay and long jump.

The IOC and IAAF are in the awkward position of seeing disgraced
Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou inherit Jones' 100-meter gold medal
from Sydney. Thanou finished second in the race.

At the center of a major doping scandal at the 2004 Athens
Olympics, Thanou and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris failed to
show up for drug tests on the eve of the games, claimed they were
injured in a motorcycle accident and eventually pulled out. Both
later were suspended for two years.

Under standard procedures, the medal standings are adjusted so
the silver medalist moves up to gold if the winner is disqualified
for doping or other reasons. All of the other finishers also would
move up a spot.

"I will not speculate on the outcome, but the general rule is
the second-place finisher moves up," Bach said.

The IOC would need evidence or an admission that Thanou was
doping at the time of the Sydney Games to keep her from getting the
gold. Some have suggested leaving the gold medal position vacant.

"All we can say to the IOC is, 'Here are the revised
results,' " IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. "As of today, Thanou
finished second. Standard practice says she should be moved up."

The IOC and IAAF also must consider whether Jones' relay
teammates should lose their Sydney medals.

USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said Monday the relays were
tainted because of Jones' presence and all the medals should be
returned.

"The relay will be decided according to IAAF rules," Bach
said.

Davies said those rules clearly state that all members of a
relay team should be disqualified. However, it's not clear whether
that rule was in force at the time of the Sydney Games.

Jearl Miles-Clark, Monique Hennagan, Tasha Colander-Richardson
and Andrea Anderson all won golds as part of the 1,600-meter relay
team. Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion
Richardson were on the 400-meter relay team. Both Edwards and
Gaines have served doping bans since the 2000 Olympics.

But medals aren't the only prizes that will be returned.

IAAF regulations also allow for athletes busted for doping to be
asked to pay back prize money and appearance fees.

Jones would have earned millions in prizes, bonuses and fees
from meets all over the world, including a share of the $1 million
Golden League jackpot in 2001 and 2002.

"The rule is there, and it's clear," Davies said. "You
forfeit prize and appearance money. We will try to recover it, but
I can't say whether we will actually recover it."