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IOC strips sprinter Marion Jones of Sydney Olympics medals

12 December 2007

Marion Jones Marion Jones
The International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced here Wednesday that Marion Jones, who admitted doping last month, had been stripped of her five Sydney Games medals.

“We’ve disqualified Miss Jones from the 2000 Olympic Games and declared her ineligible from Beijing (2008 hosts),” Rogge confirmed.

The IOC’s move follows the two year ban imposed on the 31-year-old American by sport’s world ruling body the IAAF in November.

Jones was the track and field star of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, winning gold in the 100m and 200m, and 4?400m relay. She also picked up two bronzes in the long jump and 4?100m relay.

But her achievements have been scrubbed from the record books after her admission that she was using the prohibited substance known as “the clear” beginning on September 1, 2000.

Jones had pre-empted Wednesday’s decision by the IOC by handing back her five Olympic medals last month after she told a US court of her use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Rogge said the IOC would redistribute the disgraced sprinter’s medals at a later date.

The reason for the delay is that the logicial recipient of Jones’ 100m gold, runner-up Ekaterini Thanou, was herself given a two-year ban for allegedly faking a motorbike crash to cover up missing a drug test during the 2004 Summer Games.

“We want to be sure of the athletes” who receive Jones’ medals, Rogge said without mentioning Thanou specifically.

“We’re going to wait until the end of the BALCO (steroid case) inquiry. Other names might emerge,” added the Olympics chief.

Rogge believes that Jones’ reputation has been hit the hardest while the IOC’s credibility remains intact despite the scandal.

“This has tainted her (Jones) image, but it is a positive thing for the struggle against doping.

“The more cheats we catch the more credible we (IOC) become.”

The IOC have invited Jones’ relay teammates to a hearing to present their case for keeping their medals.

Jones meanwhile has also been asked by the United States Olympic Committee to repay more than 100,000 dollars in prize and bonus money.

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