pleads guilty in steroids case, will retire
One of the most celebrated
track stars in the world, Marion Jones admitted to lying about
steroids to the feds and announced she will retire.
years of denial and pressure are finally lifted of Marion Jones'
shoulders, just to be replaced with a life-time guilt, shame and
disappointment by millions of fans worldwide. Marion Jones, who
won three Olympic gold medals and two bronze, stood in front of
the federal judge on Friday and admitted she used steroids. She
also pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators when she
denied she had used performance-enhancing drugs. Outside of the
court, in tears Jones announced she is retiring from the sport.
"It's with a great amount of shame
that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your
trust. I have been dishonest and you have the right to be angry
with me. I have let [my family] down. I have let my country
down, and I have let myself down. I recognize that by saying I'm
deeply sorry, it might not be enough and sufficient to address
the pain and hurt that I've caused you. Therefore, I want to ask
for your forgiveness for my actions, and I hope you can find it
in your heart to forgive me," Marion Jones said outside of
After Friday's court appearance, Marion
Jones became the biggest name in sports to be brought down as
part of the federal investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative, also known as the BALCO case. Baseball legend
Barry Bonds is currently under investigation in the same case,
grand jury still looking into whether Bonds also lied to the
According to the federal prosecutor Matt
Parrella, a 2003 search warrant at BALCO uncovered
purchases, doping calendars, and various blood-test results
connected to Marion Jones and her coach at the time Trevor
Graham. The BALCO case has been hunting Marion Jones for years.
Tim Montgomery, the father of her son, was stripped of his world
record in the 100 meters as part of the BALCO case and Jones
herself was one of the athletes testifying in 2003, and going as
far as suing the founder of BALCO, Victor Conte, after his
allegation that he had seen Marion Jones use the infamous
steroid developed by BALCO, often referred to as "the clear".
But this denial game is no more and on Friday Marion Jones
testified that she has taken "the clear", initially under the
impression that she was given flaxseed oil. "I consumed this
substance several times before the Sydney Olympics and continued
using it after. By November 2003, I realized he was giving me
performance-enhancing drugs," Jones said in court on Friday.
The International Olympic Committee said they will move quickly
to strip Jones of her medals.
Marion Jones also pleaded guilty to
lying about her knowledge of a check-fraud scheme involving Tim
Montgomery, her agent Charles Wells and former coach Steve
Riddick. All three have been convicted in a scheme to cash
millions of dollars worth of stolen or forged checks.
Court date for sentencing of Marion
Jones is set for January 11th 2008.