Sunday, August 20, 2006
Track star Marion Jones, winner of 3 gold medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has tested positive for the performance enhancing drug, EPO. The hormone helps create extra red blood cells which allows the user’s body to absorb extra oxygen.
Jones was expected to compete in yesterday’s Golden League meet in Zurich, Switzerland, but left early in the morning for “personal reasons.” It was announced earlier today (UTC) that she had tested positive for EPO. Jones faces a two year ban if her B test sample comes back positive.
Jones has a history of association with steroid users and dealers. In 1999, her then husband CJ Hunter tested positive for a similar drug, nandralone. He had to withdraw from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and received a two year ban.
Jones later divorced him, and in 2002 started a relationship with another track star, Tim Montgomery, who were both coached by Trevor Grahm.
Montgomery set a record in the 100 meter sprint of 9.78 seconds at a race in Paris that year. He was banned for two years and stripped of his record due to evidence in the Federal BALCO investigation. In the BALCO investigation, several witnesses stated that Marion Jones was taking banned substances received from BALCO.
Jones’ coach, Grahm, has been involved with 10 other athletes that tested positive and were ultimately banned for the use of illegal substances. Justin Gatlin, also coached by Grahm, also tested positive for artificial Testosterone, but has not been banned or stripped of his record.
Another American athlete, cyclist Floyd Landis tested positive for excessive levels of adrenaline after winning the Tour-de-France, which may lead to him being the first winner in the tournament’s history to be stripped of the title.