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Jones returns Olympic medals

  • Story Highlights
  • It is not immediately clear where the returned Olympic medals are
  • Marion Jones admitted lying about using steroids to federal authorities
  • Jones returns to U.S. federal court in January for sentencing
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Disgraced track star Marion Jones has returned her Olympic medals after pleading guilty to lying to federal agents about her use of steroids, U.S. Olympic chief Peter Ueberroth said Monday.

"For the record we have received three gold medals and two bronze medals from the attorneys of Marion Jones," Ueberroth, the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, told reporters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Jones, 31, won those medals at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia. But Friday, after years of public and often angry denials, she admitted that she used the steroid THG, known as "the clear," from 1999 to 2001.

Ueberroth said the USOC would cooperate with the International Olympic Committee and other sports bodies, and would support any decisions they made regarding Jones. And he apologized "to the people of Australia, who put on one of the great games of all time."

"Nobody can erase the wonderful games in Sydney in the year 2000," he said. "This should not be a blemish on your games -- but to the extent it is, our sincerest apologies."

Jones' admission that she lied to federal investigators probing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports means she faces possible prison time. She has been ordered back to court on January 11 for sentencing.

"It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you I have betrayed your trust," she said after Friday's hearing.

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On Monday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced she has been declared ineligible for competition for two years.

The confession by the woman frequently called one of the greatest female athletes of her time could also have ripple effects throughout the sports world, particularly for the investigation into alleged doping by other high-profile athletes.

Jones' admission is part of the 4-year-old probe of Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO, which produced "the clear" -- an undetectable designer steroid. The performance-enhancing substance gives athletes an edge in strength and endurance, and allows muscles to recover quickly from heavy workouts and competition.

Marion Jones was one of numerous prominent athletes who appeared before a federal grand jury in San Francisco as part of the case; others included baseball home-run title-holder Barry Bonds and New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi.

In 2004, Jones filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against BALCO owner Victor Conte, accusing him of trying to "destroy her career and reputation" when he said he had supplied her with performance-enhancing drugs. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, and Conte pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute steroids in 2005.

It wasn't immediately clear what will happen next with the 2000 Olympic results.

The International Olympic Committee and other sports bodies can go back eight years to strip medals and nullify results, according to The Associated Press. In Jones' case, that would include the 2000 Olympics, where she won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 1,600 relay and bronze in the long jump and 400 relay.

The standings normally would be readjusted, with the second-place finisher moving up to gold, third to silver and fourth to bronze, according to the AP.


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 silver medalist in the 100 meters in Sydney was Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou -- at the center of a major doping scandal at the Athens Olympics. She and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris failed to show up for drug tests on the eve of the games, claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident and eventually pulled out. Both later were suspended for two years. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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