Many years ago, Marion Jones was a role model to young ladies who wanted to become athletes. She was a young Black American who made the ladies folk proud as a result of her achievements.
Marion ran 100m, 200m race, and long jump. She was so good that a number of us felt we could become sprinters mainly because we watched her. When it was time to race, she almost always came first, she was the ‘Usain Bolt’ of the early 2000, watching her race was always exciting.
According to google, she was one amongst track’s first female sports millionaires. She was also tagged ‘the golden girl in track and field’, she dominated the sprints and later became the first woman in athletics to attain five medals at the Sydney Olympics Games in the year 2000. She won three gold and two bronze medals.
She was born on October 12, 1975 in Los Angeles, USA.
Marion Jones was once married to C.J Hunter but they got divorced (1998-2002).
Marion got married again in 2007 to Oba Thompson. The union is blessed with two children, Ahmir, born in 2007 and Eva-Marie, born in 2009.
She had her first child Tim Montgomery Jnr., with an ex boyfriend Tim Montgomery whom she dated before remarrying.
Many people don’t know this, but she was once an actress. in the late 90’s and early 2000’s she was featured in some movies like Arli$ (1996), Sydney 2000: Games of the XXVII Olympiad (2000) and Pyramid (2002).
Unfortunately, her reign collectively of the best female athletes was cut short. She was accused of using illegal substances (steroids) for better performance. The accusations became true when she failed drug tests and her career ended.
In 2004, investigations were meted out on a company called Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO). it had been rumored that the organisation was supplying performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes, including Marion Jones.
Marion’s ex husband C.J Hunter was a shot putter and her coach, he also failed the pre-Olympic drug tests. because of this, their marriage went through troubled times and they got divorced.
After this revelation of Marion’s ex failing the drug tests, fingers were pointed at Marion, people said there was no way she wasn’t using drugs.
Athletes kept failing drug tests and they got exposed. From 2000 to 2007, Marion denied the use of performance enhancing drugs.
She went as far as filing a defamation suit against the president of the company that supplied her with the steroids, accusing him of trying to destroy her career, meanwhile she was really using drugs.
After years of accusations on her use of illegal substances, her urine sample tested positive for a banned substance.
Marion Jones lied in court that from September 2000 until July 2001, her former trainer, Trevor Graham, had given her a substance she took but he told her the substance was flaxseed oil.
She said when she stopped training with him in 2001, she realized it had been a performance-enhancing drug.
Her ex husband C.J Hunter testified against her, telling federal investigators that he had seen her inject steroids in her stomach during the 2000 Olympics.
Marion finally admitted in October 2007, that she had taken the enhancing drug referred to as “the clear” for the first time when her coach Trevor Graham gave it to her in 2000.
She kept taking the drug through 2001, which meant she had violated the rules and cheated during the 2000 Olympics.
She pleaded guilty to charges for ingesting performance-enhancing steroids and for lying to federal investigators.
She addressed the media and fans and she openly confessed what she had done calling her decision “stupid”.
Her words, “I have betrayed your trust and have let myself and my country down. Making these false statements to federal agents was an incredibly stupid thing for me to do, and i am responsible fully for my actions.”
Disgracefully, she was stripped off her medals and ordered to pay back prize money she won during her career. She was also jailed for the one thing she denied throughout her career, doping.
She also had trouble with the police for her connection to a check-fraud scam. Her signature was on a bank check that was meant to carry out a scam, the people involved were caught and arrested. They gave testimonies that indicted Marion and she was prosecuted.
Police officers also said they had evidence, including Marion’s signature on the $25,000 check.
In 2008, Marion Jones was sentenced to 6 months in jail with two years probation, she was ordered to serve 800 hours of community service for lying to federal investigators about using steroids and her knowledge of a check fraud scam.
It was reported that during Marion’s trial, the judge in charge of her case, Judge Karas, said although Marion admitted to the crimes, he was not convinced that she had come clean about her knowledge of the drugs she took.
After admitting to lying about her use of steroids, she returned her five Sydney Olympic medals (three gold and two bronze medals she won in the 100m, 200m, 4×100, 4x400m and long jump) to the united states Anti-Doping Agency.
She also was stripped off medals she won at the 2001 Edmonton World Championships in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m and also the 100m at the 2001 Goodwill Games.
The International Olympic Committee had to regulate the medal standings and replace her name with that of other athletes who took second place.
Her name was erased and more than 40 athletes who competed with and against her at the 2000 Olympic Games got the medals in her place.
Everything changed for Marion after her cheating confession. along side her jail time, she also had to repay prize money she won during competitions, she also had to pay back companies that endorsed her, and she had to pay for legal expenses.
The bills were quite hefty for her and she was eventually forced to sell her mansion and two other properties to settle her growing debt.