LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Marion Jones, the US track star, arrived at a US court Friday where she was expected to plead guilty to lying to investigators about her use of banned drugs, in a move that could see the sprinter stripped of her five Olympic medals.
Jones, who has dodged doping allegations for years, told friends and family in a letter obtained by the Washington Post on Thursday that she intended to plead guilty during the court appearance at White Plains in New York state.
According to the Post, the 31-year-old athlete admitted in the letter to using steroids before her triumphant campaign for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where her five medals included three golds.
Jones said in the letter she took the steroid THG, produced by the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) and known as “the clear,” for two years beginning in 1999, according to the report.
“I knew that what I had taken and been given was a banned substance and I lied about it,” the San Diego Union Tribune quoted the letter as saying.
“I lied because I panicked … I lied to protect all that I had worked so very hard for in my life and career,” it added.
Jones, once hailed as the greatest woman athlete in the world, was one of many high-profile athletes who testified before a federal grand jury investigating BALCO, a probe that has resulted in five convictions.