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  • IOC Strips Marion Jones Olympics Medals


    12/12/07

    "She is disqualified and scrapped from the results," says Jacques Rogge of Marion Jones. (ATR)  
    (ATR) The IOC has stripped Marion Jones of her five medals from the Sydney Olympics, striking as well her name from the record books for the 2000 and 2004 Games.

    The decision Wednesday by the IOC Executive Board was not a surprise. She pleaded guilty in October to charges of lying to U.S. investigators about her use of performance - enhancing drugs during the Sydney Olympics, all linked to BALCO designer steroid scandal.

    "We disqualified Marion Jones from the five events she participated in in Sydney also one event in Athens, that was the long jump where she finished fifth," IOC president Jacques Rogge announced today.

    In Sydney, Jones won gold in the 100m, 200m, a relay race, and two bronze medals for the long jump and another relay race. Those medals already have been returned to the IOC.

    "Ms. Jones has been declared ineligible for the IOC for the Beijing Games but we reserve the right to decide about issues after Beijing after completion of our inquiry at the level of the BALCO case," Rogge said.

    "The IOC will make representation at the level of the U.S. Department of Justice in order to try to obtain more information on potential other athletes involved in the BALCO case.
    Marion Jones in the 4x400 relay in Sydney. (Getty Images)  


    "Depending on that we will make decisions on the future ineligibility or eligibility of Ms. Jones in any capacity, either as an athlete, trainer or any accompanying person."

    Rogge says the IOC will not take any steps yet to redistribute the medals taken from Jones. He says evidence needs to be collected as to whether any more athletes from Sydney could be implicated in the BALCO scandal.

    "We will also wait to redistribute the other rankings after the study we're going to do for the BALCO case because other names might come up and we can only redistribute the rankings when we are sure that the BALCO case will not reveal further issues."

    Rogge says a process has been started to make a determination as to whether Jones’ teammates in the relay races could lose their medals, too.

    "The disciplinary commission will of course respect the rights of natural justice and will give the United States Olympic Committee the
    IOC President Jacques Rogge’s press conference Wednesday at IOC headquarters. (ATR)  
    opportunity to be heard before the disciplinary commission makes its recommendation to the IOC Executive Board."

    The USOC, however, has made it clear that Jones’ teammates should give up their medals, too. Presumably, the USOC would still need to allow the athletes to make statements on their behalf.

    Mathematically, 37 athletes from seven nations could be affected by the redistribution. That makes it the most complicated re-ordering of the Olympic record books resulting from drugs-related expulsion.

    A three-member disciplinary commission chaired by IOC vice president Thomas Bach has the job of reviewing evidence from the BALCO scandal. The IOC president said he hoped that the commission would be able to make recommendations on the medal redistribution by the time of the next EB meeting, April in Beijing.

    Jones, 32, awaits sentencing January 10. She is expected to receive a jail term of at least six months. This week, Major League Baseball star Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty to similar charges resulting from his testimony to a grand jury examining the BALCO case.

    Homepage photo by Getty Images

    Written by Ed Hula

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