Jones’ Relay Teammates Could Lose Medals

By Philip Hersh
Updated: November 25, 2007

LOS ANGELES — The international track federation’s council on Friday recommended that members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic relay teams on which Marion Jones competed be stripped of their medals. Jones returned her three individual medals after admitting last month she had used banned anabolic steroids before the Sydney Olympics. She also won a gold on the 1,600-meter relay and a bronze on the 400 relay. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board will consider the recommendation at its meeting next month. IOC President Jacques Rogge has said he believes the relays should lose their medals. U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth supports that action, a change from when the USOC appealed a similar decision in a case involving Jerome Young and the men’s 1,600 relay at the 2000 Olympics. “Given the recent admission by Ms. Jones that cheating was involved, we agree: the medals should be returned. This has been our position throughout,” USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said. That does not prevent any of the other eight women (including those who ran in preliminaries) who won medals on those relays from filing an appeal. Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson (prelims) ran on the 400 relay. Jearl-Miles Clark, Monique Hennagan, LaTasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson (prelims) were on the 1,600 relay. “We are not going to say anything until we see what the IOC does,” said John Nubani, agent for both Miles-Clark and Richardson. Jones could not be reached for comment. The track federation also asked Jones to return all medals and money from competitions after Sept. 1, 2000. That would include gold and silver medals and $90,000 in prize money from the 2001 world championships. The IAAF banned Jones two years, ending Oct. 7, 2009. According to IAAF spokesman Nick Davies, she would have to repay some $700,000 to be reinstated. But Jones already has announced her retirement from the sport. The Times reported in June that in court records involving a suit against one of her former coaches, Jones, once a multimillionaire, claimed total liquid assets of about $2,000. The IOC is expected to ratify the federation’s recommendation, but it is not clear whether the medal order will be changed to move up those who finished behind Jones in individual events and the relays. Because Jones never tested positive and Rogge has said he wanted to be sure medal revisions were free of doubts about doping, the IOC may decide simply to vacate the medals.