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IOC strips Jones' five Olympic medals for doping

Lausanne, Dec 14: The International Olympic Committee formally stripped Marion Jones of her five Olympic medals yesterday, wiping her name from the record books following her admission that she was a drug cheat. As far as the IOC is now concerned, her performance at the Sydney Games of 2000 never happened.

Once the world's biggest track and field star, who peaked with three gold and two bronze medals in Sydney, Jones is now just another disgraced drug cheat."She is disqualified and scrapped from the results," IOC president Jacques Rogge said at the close of a three-day executive board meeting. The IOC also banned Jones from attending next year's Beijing Olympics in any capacity and said it could bar her from future games.

The IOC postponed a decision on redistributing her medals, including whether to strip her eight American relay team-mates and whether to upgrade doping-tainted Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou to gold in the 100 metres.

Jones won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay in Sydney, and bronze in the long jump and 4x100m relay. She was the first female track and field athlete to win five medals at a single Olympics. In addition to stripping her Sydney medals, the IOC disqualified Jones from her fifth-place finish in the long jump at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Jones had already handed back her medals. The IOC said it would now ask the US Olympic Committee to get Jones to return the diplomas she received for competing in Sydney and Athens.

Last month, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) erased all of Jones' results dating to September 2000, but it was up to the IOC to formally disqualify her and revoke her Olympic medals.

"The issue has been damaging for Miss Jones, that goes without saying," Rogge said. "I still think that this is a good thing for the fight against doping. The more athletes we can catch, the more credible we are, the more deterrent effect we will have and the more we are going to protect clean athletes."

After long denying she ever had used performance-enhancing drugs, Jones admitted in federal court in October that she started using steroids before the Sydney Games. She said she'd used the designer steroid "the clear" from September 2000 to July 2001.

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Story first published: Friday, December 14, 2007, 16:08 [IST]
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