The Washington Post is reporting that famed American sprinter Marion Jones has failed a drug test that was administered after the U.S. track and field championships held in June in Indianapolis. According to the report, Jones is said to have tested positive for the banned substance Erythropoietin (EPO) which is a hormone that regulates the production of red blood cells, and as a result can greatly enhance an athlete’s endurance.
Friday morning Jones abruptly pulled out of the Weltklasse Golden League Meet in Zurich Switzerland, and there has been a dearth of information coming from anyone who should have knowledge of Jones’ situation. There were no comments from meet organizers in Zurich, the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Track and Field or the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Jones’ coach Steve Riddick seemed to go out of his way to distance himself from his client, saying that he knew nothing about why Jones wasn’t competing at the Weltklasse and said, “Me, I’m a two year coach with her so I don’t go too far into detail.” Riddick went on to say that, “I’m just the coach. If she wanted to tell me more she will. I don’t push it. I really don’t have a clue.” Does he coach the backpedal?
Marion Jones has been under a cloud of suspicion since the Sydney Summer Games of 2000 when it was learned that her then-husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, had failed numerous drug tests. Things got worse for Jones as she was ensnared in the Balco Labs scandal as Victor Conte – the mastermind of the Balco criminal enterprise – and her ex-husband Hunter told the world that Marion Jones had used a variety of banned/illegal performance enhancing drugs. Conte said that he not only saw the sprinter use drugs, but that he taught Marion Jones how to inject herself with human growth hormone.