The modern day morality play that became the life of Marion Jones continued today with the decision from the U.S. district court in White Plains, NY. Bob Ramsak, our intrepid global track observer, wrote this column today on Track Profile.
Just the facts. Jones greatest value may be, as she has said, that people learn from her mistakes. The noose has tightened and Marion Jones continues to fall. Please note that we expect additional sentencing decisions in a short time. More comments soon!
TRACK PROFILE Report #718
JONES SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN PRISON
by Bob Ramsak
(c) 2007 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved
Just when it looked as though she couldnâ€™t fall any farther, Marion Jones just did.
Today at the U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., the disgraced American sprinter was sentenced to six months in jail following her guilty plea in October on charges that she lied to federal prosecutors about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and her connection to a check fraud scam.
The sentence, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas, includes two years probation and 400 hours of community service. She is to report to prison on March 11.
â€œI respect the judgeâ€™s orders,â€ Jones said on CNN International after the verdict was announced. â€œI truly hope that people learn from my mistakes.â€
Less than eight years ago, Jones was bar none the biggest star in track and field after winning five medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, three of them gold. Commanding hefty appearance fees from meet organizers and lucrative deals from sponsors, Jones was arguably the most wealthy star in the sport. Today, Jones, 32, is broke, medal-less, and presumably wondering how she will explain her descent from stardom to her two children, aged four and seven months.
Since the BALCO scandal broke in late 2003, Jones had repeatedly and vehemently denied using banned substances. [For a complete transcript of one public denial, see TPR #108, 10-June-2004 at http://www.trackprofile.com/tpr108.html .]
Following her admission last fall, Jones returned her Sydney medals to the International Olympic Committee, which has yet to decide how they will be disbursed.
In November, the IAAF, the worldâ€™s governing body for track and field, disqualified Jones from all competitions dating from September 1, 2000, annulling all individual and relay performances.
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