Ex-husband says Jones took steroids in 2000

Friday, July 23, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- The ex-husband of three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones told federal investigators that Jones was using banned performance-enhancing drugs during the 2000 Games in Sydney where she won five medals, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The newspaper said C.J. Hunter told Internal Revenue Service investigators pursuing the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case that he personally injected his then-wife with banned substances and saw Jones inject herself with the drugs at their home in Australia.

Human growth hormone, the steroid THG, insulin and the endurance-boosting drug EPO were among the substances Hunter alleged that Jones used.

Hunter, who won a shot put world title in 1999, tested positive for steroids four times in 2000 -- when he was married to Jones, who has adamantly denied using banned substances.

Jones' attorney, Joseph Burton, told the Chronicle in a statement that Hunter was bitter about the couple's breakup in 2002 and was "seeking to exact his revenge by telling lies to the government."

Attempts by The Associated Press to contact Jones or her representatives on Thursday night were unsuccessful.

Rich Wanninger, a spokesman for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said the organization would have no comment on the report.

Jones, who had three gold medals among the five she won in Sydney, is scheduled to compete in the long jump at next month's Olympics in Athens. She failed to qualify in the 100 meters at last week's Olympic trials in Sacramento, Calif., and withdrew from the 200.

Citing investigators' memos, the newspaper reported in an article posted on its Web site Thursday night that Hunter gave a 2 1/2-hour interview to IRS investigators on June 8 in Raleigh, N.C., and had a follow-up call a week later.

During the interview, Hunter alleged that Jones had used banned substances before, during and after the Sydney Olympics.

"Hunter stated that he saw Jones inject herself with EPO," IRS agent Erwin Rogers wrote in one of the memos quoted by the Chronicle. "Jones would inject herself in the front waist line area slightly underneath the skin. ... Initially, Hunter injected Jones because Jones did not want to inject herself in this location."

Hunter alleged that Jones obtained performance-enhancing drugs from Victor Conte, owner of BALCO, and from her coach, Trevor Graham. Conte has pleaded not guilty to steroid conspiracy charges and Graham denied to investigators that he supplied Jones with steroids.

BALCO, a lab in Burlingame, is at the center of an international sports doping scandal that has enveloped prominent athletes, including San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds and sprinter Tim Montgomery.

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