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Swiss snub Jones over poor form

2 June 2005
bbc.co.uk

Organisers of Switzerland's annual Athletissima meeting say they are not inviting Marion Jones to run in their 5 July event because of her lack of form.

The three-time Olympic gold medallist has been shunned by the Euro Meetings Group because of the American's links to the Balco doping scandal.

The American ran in Holland on Sunday and Milan on Wednesday but was well beaten on both occasions.

Athletissima director Jacky Delapierre said: "She is clearly not in shape."

Delapierre added: "There's no interest on our part in inviting her but that's not to say we're banning her.

"If she calls up and says she wants to race for practice and without any appearance money, then that might be possible but she would have to come through a B-race first though."

Jones has also pulled out of the US's most prestigious grand prix meeting after her poor performances in Europe.

The former triple Olympic champion's name was not on a list of women's 100m contestants released on Thursday for Saturday's Prefontaine Classic.

The Euro-League group, whose members organise nearly 50 meetings, decided last month it would invite neither Jones nor her partner Tim Montgomery to their events because of their association with Balco.

But the call was ignored by the organisers of Sunday's FBK Games in the Netherlands, where Jones came second in the 100m in 11.29 seconds - 0.14 of a second slower than the winning time of Bahamas runner Chandra Sturrup.

Jones was slower still midweek over the same distance, again finishing behind her former training partner Sturrup in 11.67.

After a federal investigation into Balco, world 100m record holder Montgomery has been charged with serious doping offences by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

His appeal against a possible life ban will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in San Francisco on Monday.

Jones has also been investigated although neither she nor Montgomery has ever failed a drugs test and both deny taking banned substances.



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