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Jan 11, 2008

Marion Jones sentenced to six months in jail

Story PictureThree months after Marion Jones admitted she took performance enhancing drugs, today a U.S. judge has ordered her to spend six months behind bars. Jones, with her husband Obadele Thompson at her side, appeared before Federal Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains, New York this morning and was given the maximum sentence of six months in prison. Reports out of the U.S. media are that Jones pleaded with the judge not to separate her from her boys, saying that she realised the gravity of the offences she had committed and apologises. Before giving her the sentence, Karas told Jones, “Athletes in society have an elevated status. They entertain, they inspire, and perhaps more importantly, they serve as role model for children around the world … In the end, there’s an argument for incarceration.” On October fifth a crying Marion Jones faced her fans and asked for forgiveness after confessing to taking performance enhancing drugs and lying to federal prosecutors, her supporters, and the media. She pled guilty to two counts of Obstruction of Justice, admitting she lied when questioned by a federal investigator in November 2003 about her use of the steroid known as “The Clear” during the 2000 Olympics in which she won five medals. According to Jones, she thought her coach was giving her flaxseed oil and it was not until afterwards that she realised it was drugs. Jones said she lied because she panicked. Pre-empting sporting officials, Jones relinquished her medals. The International Olympic Committee is now seeking to adjust the standings of the forty plus athletes who competed with and against Jones. The other obstruction charge stemmed from another lie told by the former Olympian, this time about a stolen cheque which was forged by the father of one her sons, Tim Montgomery, which he deposited into her account. When the disgraced Jones left the courthouse today, she told the press she hopes others learn from her mistakes.

Marion Jones, Sentenced to 6 months in prison
“I am extremely disappointed today. But as I stood in front of all of you for years in victory, I stand in front of you today, I stand for what is right. I respect the judge’s orders and I truly hope that people will learn from my mistakes. Thank you for your time.”

The judge in Jones’ case is recommending that she start serving her sentence no later than March eleventh at a minimum security facility in Bryan, Texas, which is located ninety-five miles northwest of Houston. In addition to her prison time, Jones was also sentenced to two years supervised release and eight hundred hours of community service.

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