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Jones seeks presidential pardon

22 July 2008

Disgraced U.S. sprinter Marion Jones has asked President George W. Bush to commute her six-month prison sentence for lying to prosecutors about her steroid use, a Justice Department spokesman said on Monday.

The spokesman said there is a pending commutation petition for Jones, but declined to give any further details.

The Justice Department typically reviews petitions for commutations and pardons and makes recommendations on whether they should be granted. Most such petitions are denied.

Jones on March 7 reported to a federal prison in Texas to begin serving her sentence. She has been stripped of the five medals, three of which were gold, that she won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

For years, she denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but in October she pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury, and was sentenced in January by a federal judge in New York.

She admitted she had lied to investigators in 2003 when she denied knowing that she took the banned substance tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), known as "the clear," before the 2000 Olympics.

In New York, her lawyer, Henry DePippo, who is still representing Jones, said he had no comment.

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