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Marion Jones Tests Positive For EPO


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From ESPN.com:

Five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones, once the charming, dominating face of track and field around the world, failed an initial drug test at the U.S. championships in June, people familiar with the results told The Associated Press on Friday.

Jones' "A" sample tested positive June 23 for the banned performance-enhancer EPO at the event in Indianapolis, one source told the AP on condition of anonymity because the official results are not yet public.

The 30-year-old sprinter made a triumphant return to the sport's center stage in Indianapolis, with a victory in the 100 meters, her 14th U.S. title but first since 2002.

If a second sample, or "B" sample, also tests positive, one of the biggest stars of the Sydney Olympics would face a minimum two-year ban from competition.

Erythropoietin, also known as EPO, is a banned performance-enhancer that can boost endurance. The result was first reported Friday by ESPN The Magazine's Shaun Assael and on the Web site of The Washington Post, which also cited sources it did not identify.

Jones, a five-time world champion, withdrew from the Weltklasse Golden League meet on Friday, citing "personal reasons." Meet director Hans Jeorg Wirz said Jones received a morning telephone call from the United States that prompted her decision. No further details were given.

After Jones withdrew in Zurich, her coach, Steve Riddick, told ESPN.com's Mike Fish by phone from Norfolk, Va., that he was surprised she was not running.

"From what I gather it is some personal family matters. I'm not sure if her mother is ill. I know her son is OK. Charlie [Wells, Jones' manager] says it is a personal family matter," Riddick said. "Me, I'm a two-year-old coach with her so I don't go too far into detail.

"I haven't talked to her," he said. "I know when she landed, she just sent me a little note that said, 'I just landed. I'll give you a call later. I'm OK.' That is all she said. I'm just the coach. If she wanted to tell me more she will. I don't push it. I really don't have a clue."

When reached by phone in Zurich, Wells said, "She had some personal reasons that she had to go home. That is it."

Asked if it was an illness, Wells said, "Don't know. That is all that is to it."

If Jones' second sample tests positive, she would be the third high-profile U.S. athlete to test positive for doping this year. U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone during the Tour de France; sprinter Justin Gatlin, a three-time Olympic medalist who shares the world record in the 100 meters, tested positive for a steroid in April. Landis and Gatlin, like Jones, have denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

Jones' mix of talent and personality helped her dominate the sport in the late 1990s after a standout career in track and basketball at North Carolina.

At the 2000 Sydney Games, she became the first woman to win five Olympic medals in track and field. Jones, who trained with Trevor Graham at the time, won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 1,600-meter relay and bronze in the long jump and 400-meter relay.

Since then, however, Jones, one of several athletes who testified to the federal grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in 2003, has been dogged by doping suspicions.

Her ex-husband, C.J. Hunter, and BALCO founder Victor Conte have both said she had used banned substances, allegations she vehemently denied.

Former coach Graham is now under investigation by track and field's ruling body and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He is the coach of Olympic and world 100-meter champion Gatlin, who faces a lifetime ban for his failed drug test. Several other athletes coached by Graham have been suspended for doping.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Graham confirmed he was the one who sent a vial of the designer steroid THG, also known as "the clear," to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, telling the agency that this was the drug of choice by some elite athletes at the time. BALCO was later confirmed as the source of THG.

In December 2005, sprinter Tim Montgomery, the father of Jones' son, retired from the sport after he was banned for two years for doping violations. He never tested positive but was punished based on information gathered in the BALCO probe. Earlier this year, he and Riddick were indicted on bank fraud and money laundering charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Jones was making a comeback this season after years of struggle.

After taking 2003 off for the birth of her son, she struggled but made the U.S. 2004 Olympic team in the long jump. Jones, who also competed in the 4x100 relay, failed to medal at the games.

In Indianapolis, she was greeted with cheers from the crowd after her 100-meter triumph.

"I have a passion for the sport," she said at the time. "I have a passion to compete, and nobody's going to take that away from me."

Jones withdrew from the 200 meters at the national championships just before the preliminaries, settling for the 100-meter title she won the previous night. She warmed up but Wells said she decided her legs were too tired after running three rounds of the 100.

Wells did not return a telephone message Friday.

Jones raced five times in Europe this season, winning the 100 meters in Paris and Lausanne.

Her 10.91-second clocking at the Golden Gala meet in Rome on July 14, where she finished second to Sherone Simpson of Jamaica, was the third-fastest time in the world this year and Jones' best mark in four years. Her career best of 10.65 seconds in the 100 was in 1998.

Jones had been set to race in Zurich for the first time in two years after having been snubbed by the meet for her connection to the BALCO steroid scandal.

I always knew she was a damn cheat since the 2000 Olympics.....she hung out with Conte and was married to Hunter and Montgomery who are convicted cheats

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they should be banned for life, its the only way atheletes will learn!!!

2yrs is nothing, they will enter the next olympics and win it due to having every possible drug in their body.

they are CHEATS!!!

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they should be banned for life, its the only way atheletes will learn!!!

2yrs is nothing, they will enter the next olympics and win it due to having every possible drug in their body.

they are CHEATS!!!

They won't have every drug in there body. I'm sure they will select people for random testing before the events.

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She was good in highschool, she didnt need to take that stuff. USATF is a joke now, i dont even know if i want to pay for my membership so i can run in the track meets. The problem is money, we pay our athletes too much money and track is diffrent, track athletes get sponsorships (Nike, addidas, ect..) and to keep the money flow they need to be the best. They even get money just for showing up at certain meets because they will attract more people to the track meets. I think athletes just dont want to work hard anymore, they want to take the easy path. When i hear about some athletes pulling out of track meets at the last minute i say to myself "because they were doing testing". The NCAA needs to clean it up also, im sorry but for a person (Xavier Carter) to win the 400m (44.53) and 30 minuets later win the 100m (10.09) at the NCAA championships is crazy. He said he was done with track and would not go pro because he wanted to play football but three days later he said he was going pro in track because Nike gave him $$$$. Lets hope he is real or he will go down by 1) getting caught or 2) times will slow down when he stops taking whatever he is taking.

I hope USATF gets their butts in gear or sadly... have the government step in and fix it.

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we should wait till all the evidence comes out before we procaim somebody guilty. I believe that she's innocent just like I believe that Tour de France winner is innocene too. however i could end up being proven wrong on both counts but however in this day and age I just really can't see atheletes being stupid enough to do something like that, especially her. We all know the history she has and what happened to her ex-husband so she already knows they are going to look at her extra hard, it doesn't make any sense for her to do it, especially for something that's not a major event.

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Gatlin receives eight-year ban so he is done unless he trains for eight years which i cant see him doing, move on and do other stuff. If Marion's B sample comes out positive then she should move on also, can she be good in two years?

Not official, but my coach has a friend on the USA team and he says he got a call and Jeremy Wariner was flagged for something in the last meet, i think in Paris. No big surprise to me, to run a 44 low in the 400m and jog around showing off to the crowd? I would be on the ground sucking up air, he didnt run all out if he has all that energy in the end to do that stuff. Once again not offical and we wont hear about it in the news for some time. The Gatlin test was months before it hit the news, USATF knew about it and still let him run they had no choice because they cant stop him until the B sample and the appeals hearing. With all this going on I think about Michael Johnson and his world record 19.32 (will never be broken any time soon), Michael was cut and now he is skinny, i dont think they will get him.

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I think athletics is more of a joke (doping wise) than cycling. It's ridiculous.

2 year bans are a joke, its not scaring people, they need to have life time bans for the first offence.

My coach today said that Xavier Carter got caught also this week, once again not official so if its true we wont hear about it for weeks.

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2 year bans are a joke, its not scaring people, they need to have life time bans for the first offence.

My coach today said that Xavier Carter got caught also this week, once again not official so if its true we wont hear about it for weeks.

dolimite35, you shouldn't put rumors out that can affect someone's rep without documentation. Xavier Carter has NEVER failed a drug test & your coach is totally wrong.

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dolimite35, you shouldn't put rumors out that can affect someone's rep without documentation. Xavier Carter has NEVER failed a drug test & your coach is totally wrong.

Well I never said it was true i said "if it was true..." Heck this is the internet rumor city. There are many post about other athletes that NEVER failed a drug test and there are many drugs that cant be detected, its a business. Marion Jones never failed a drug test when her husbands and boyfriend were caught (and other athletes by her coach) but there were rumors about her, she just got caught this year.

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ok... I also read in this article that Justin Gatlin was tested positive for steroid in April. Why doesn't he looses his olympic medals an titles when Ben Johnson lost his in Seoul for the same exact reason?

Wouldn't it be because they are Americans :rolleyes: :yes:

Seriously, when your caught cheating they should remove every titles you have win + banned for life. There is no reason why anyone should be dispensed because maybe they weren't cheating "at the time" :angry:

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Gatlin gets 8 for testosterone which is a muscle building drug that is taken for months during training and Jones get 2 years for a performance enhancing drug? thats damn unfair.

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2 year bans are a joke, its not scaring people, they need to have life time bans for the first offence.

My coach today said that Xavier Carter got caught also this week, once again not official so if its true we wont hear about it for weeks.

As someone else already said, that's not true at all.

And it's not like Gatlin is going to train for 8 years... a sprinter's career wouldn't last that long. The only reason he accepted it was so he could work with the USADA and get a leaner sentence -- 4 years.

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Well I never said it was true i said "if it was true..." Heck this is the internet rumor city. There are many post about other athletes that NEVER failed a drug test and there are many drugs that cant be detected, its a business. Marion Jones never failed a drug test when her husbands and boyfriend were caught (and other athletes by her coach) but there were rumors about her, she just got caught this year.

You can't compare Marion Jones to Xavier Carter. Marion was married to a cheat (who said he injected her) & has a baby from another cheat & was coached by dirty coaches. Also, she was implicated in the largest doping scandal in US history. Xavier Carter before the NCAA track finals wasn't even thinking of running on the pro circuit. This kid was a college athlete from a school that has never had an athlete fail a drug test.

Your coach gave you some bad info & you took it to "internet rumor city".

"My coach today said that Xavier Carter got caught also this week"

Well, your coach LIED or was LIED to! Either way this rumor is false.

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http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/trackandfiel...tory?id=2576909

Updated: Sep. 6, 2006, 10:39 PM ET

Marion Jones' 'B' sample negative; sprinter clearedAssociated Press

The backup drug test for sprinter Marion Jones came back negative, clearing the five-time Olympic champion of doping allegations that have dogged her for the past month, her attorneys said Wednesday night.

"I am absolutely ecstatic," Jones said in a statement released by her lawyers. "I have always maintained that I have never ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I am pleased that a scientific process has now demonstrated that fact."

Jones tested positive for the banned endurance enhancer EPO on June 23. She withdrew from a meet in Switzerland last month and shortly after that, reports of a positive test were revealed.

The backup test, conducted at the same UCLA lab using the same sample, came back negative, however, meaning the 30-year-old sprinter has been cleared of any wrongdoing. She faced a minimum two-year ban.

Well that's an interesting development.

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