Jones withdraws from 200 meters

Sunday, July 18, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Exhausted Olympic champion Marion Jones pulled out of the 200 meters at the U.S. track and field trials Saturday to focus on the long jump and the relays -- and perhaps even a spot in the 100.

"It's extremely disappointing. I'm not going to candy coat anything," she said. "My reasoning for pulling out of the 200 today is simply because of fatigue. There's no other reason. After running my round yesterday I was simply tired, exhausted.

"It happens. It hasn't happened in the past. I woke up this morning, I was tired," Jones said at a news conference about two hours after pulling out of the event. "I've always told myself that if I cannot give 100 percent out on the track then I won't go out there."

Jones won an unprecedented five track and field medals at the 2000 Sydney Games. But she has had mostly disappointing performances this season, a year after giving birth to a son, and she has been under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

She has repeatedly denied she has ever used performance-enhancing substances.

"I think I underestimated childbirth. It was a challenge. I was able to get my weight down quite easily, I feel fit, I look fit," Jones said. "It really didn't happen out there this week. Sure we can attribute it to childbirth, to distractions."

Jones won the long jump competition at the Olympic trials. By making the U.S. team in that event, she automatically qualifies for all relays.

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