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Penalty makes example of Jones

13 January 2008
www.wcsn.com

Marion Jones's drugs disgrace has been a wake-up call for U.S. athletics, IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe said on Sunday.

Jones, who has been stripped of the five medals she won at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, was given a six-month prison sentence on Friday for lying to federal investigators over her use of steroids.

Coe told BBC radio: "I can't be glowingly happy that a young mother with two children goes to prison for six months but if the message out there is that at long last American track and field takes this problem seriously then it's a positive.

"They have woken up to the fact that this is a very disfiguring episode in their own sport," said Coe, a vice-president of athletics' ruling body and a former double Olympic champion.

"The organization of the American anti-doping agency and American track and field now recognize there is a responsibility to sort this problem out.

"This is a very damaging episode for my sport and we have to move on with better protocols in place and an American sport that recognizes they are part of the global sport.

"It's not just enough to come to compete on the European circuit and forget they need to promote the better qualities of the sport in their own country."

Jones, 32, retired last October and confessed to betraying the trust of her fans after years of denying she used performance-enhancing drugs. All her performances since 2000 have been deleted from the record books.



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