Olympic athlete Marion Jones, 31, will serve six months in prison for lying to an investigator about her steroid use and her involvement in a check-fraud scheme. Jones must also complete 400 hours of community service while serving two years probation.
The world champion athlete opted for a plea agreement last October when she admitted that she lied to an investigator about her use of a performance-enhancing drug before and after the 2000 Olympic Games. She won three gold medals and two bronze medals as a runner and long jumper at the Sydney games and was considered one of the greatest female athletes in the world.
Jones testified in court that, from September 2000 until July 2001, she took what she thought was flaxseed oil while training with her then-trainer Trevor Graham. She says that after she stopped training with him, she realized that had been actually been using the designer steroid THG.
In 2003, during a grand jury investigation of Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO)-a lab involved in the scandal linking professional athletes to steroid use-Jones denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs. She filed a lawsuit against Victor Conte, BALCO’s founder, who has said that he saw Jones inject herself with a performance-enhancing drug.
A 2003 search warrant uncovered doping calendars, ledgers, purchases, and blood-test results linking Jones and Graham to BALCO.
Jones also confessed to lying about how much she knew regarding Tim Montgomery’s involvement in a check-fraud scam. Montgomery is the father of her Jones’s son Monty. Millions of dollars in stolen and forged checks were involved. Prosecutors in New York say they have a $25,000 check that Jones signed, as well as testimonies of other defendants implicating her in the scheme.
Although Jones had hoped to avoid prison time, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas has ordered her to serve the maximum time allowed under her plea agreement. He wants athletes to become aware of the consequences that using performance enhancing drugs can have on their lives and careers.
Jones gave her Olympic medals back. The International Olympic has erased her records from the record books.
Marion Jones sentenced to 6 months for lying about steroids, Boston.com, January 11, 2008
Marion Jones Sentenced to Six Months in Prison, New York Times, January 11, 2008
Related Web Resource:
BALCO Investigation Timeline, USA Today
Marion Jones, US Olympic Team
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