IAAF to decide on Jones case

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/marionjones1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> The IAAF meets on Friday to discuss the doping case of former track star Marion Jones, including whether to officially erase her Olympic results.

Updated: November 24, 2007 16:23 IST
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The IAAF meets on Friday to discuss the doping case of former track star Marion Jones, including whether to officially erase her Olympic and world championship results. Jones' relay teammates could also lose their medals.

Jones admitted in October that she'd taken the designer steroid "the clear" from September 2000 to July 2001 and promptly announced her retirement. She won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 and the 1,600-meter relay at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, as well as bronzes in the 400 relay and long jump.

Jones has returned her five Olympic medals and agreed to forfeit all results dating back to Sept 1, 2000.

But the International Association of Athletics Federation and International Olympic Committee must still change the record books and revise the medals.

IAAF president Lamine Diack has branded Jones "one of the biggest frauds in sporting history."

USA Track & Field has recommended a two-year ban for Jones, even though she has retired. But the IAAF council could decide to push for an even longer ban to ensure that Jones doesn't come out of retirement to make a comeback.

The IAAF would need to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to seek a harsher ban.

"Do we send out a strong message? Do we accept and close the door on this or do we go to CAS?" IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said Friday. "Is (two years) enough?"

Davies said the IAAF, which holds a two-day council meeting in Monaco, may also consider whether to ask Jones to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money and appearance fees. Jones, however, is reportedly broke.

"The normal procedure would be to request the return of the prize money," Davies said.

The IOC is awaiting recommendations from the IAAF before deciding on how to revise Jones' medals, and may ultimately have to decide whether her Olympic relay teammates are stripped of theirs.

The IAAF has authority over the Olympic results, while the IOC has final say on the medals. The IAAF has authority over both results and medals at its own world championships.

In Sydney, Jearl Miles-Clark, Monique Hennagan, Tasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson won golds as part of the 1,600-meter relay. Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson were on the 400-meter relay team.

Davies said all the relay results could be disqualified by the council on Friday.

If so, Jamaica could get gold in the 1,600 and France bronze in the 400.

Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas was the silver medalist in the 200 meters, and Tatiana Kotova of Russia was fourth in the long jump.

The trickiest issue facing the IOC, however, could end up being whether to give the 100-meter gold to Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, who finished behind Jones. Thanou was embroiled in her own drug scandal four years later in Athens.

"We have no evidence to say the second-place athlete won't become the first," Davies said. "We wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on."

Should the IAAF recommend Thanou for the gold, only the IOC can stop her getting the medal.

"The IOC gets a (revised results) letter," Davies said. "Even if the official result has Thanou as first place, that does not automatically involve a sending of the medal to her. That's the IOC's decision."

IOC president Jacques Rogge has said there will be no automatic upgrade, and that only "clean" athletes will be moved up in the medals. The IOC is considering whether to leave the 100-meter winner's place vacant.

Thanou and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris failed to show up for drug tests on the eve of the 2004 Athens Games, claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident and eventually pulled out. They were later banned for two years.

The process of amending results also includes the 2001 worlds in Edmonton, where Jones won gold in the 200 and silver in the 100.

In the 200, Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas would move up to gold, Latasha Jenkins of the United States to silver and Cydonie Mothersill of the Cayman Islands to bronze.

In the 100, Thanou would move from bronze to silver, and Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas from fourth to bronze.

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