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September 25, 2000
C J Hunter in doping scandalThe Rediff Team
American shot put star C J Hunter, husband of Olympic 100m champion Marion Jones, has allegedly tested positive to two different banned steroids.
The reigning world champion withdrew from the US Olympic team just ahead of the Sydney Games, citing a knee injury and consequent surgery.
Hunter, 31, is reported to have tested positive to both nandrolone and testosterone at the Bislett Games, Oslo, in July. The speciments were analysed by the Aker lab, in that country, and passed on to the IAAF.
There has, thus far, been no official confirmation, either from the IAAF or the USTAF. Arne Ljungqvist, the anti-doping chief of the IAAF who had, last week, accused the US of covering up some drug busts, claimed he knew nothing about the case.
The controversy comes just when Hunter's wife, Marion Jones, is gunning for five golds in Sydney. She won the 100m with ease on Saturday and is now slated to compete in the 200m, long jump, 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Meanwhile, the Hunter allegations threaten to cast further unsavoury light on a less than perfect US track and field federation.
Dr. Wade Exum, director of the USOC's drug-control unit for nine years, stepped down last month, then alleged that the USOF has been systematically covering up illicit drug use.
The USOC denied the charges.
Carl Lewis, America's most famous track star, called the sport dirty and said that doping in track was worse than ever in recent times.
C J Hunter, now 31, began competing in track and field in the eighth grade in order to while away time before the football season started, but by his senior year had risen to the number three high school thrower in the country.
A resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, the 6'1" Hunter, weighing an enormous 330 lbs (wife Marion describes him as an outsize teddy bear) qualified for the Sydney 2000 shot put event on the same day wife Marion won her 100-metres qualifying run.
Hunter on that occasion threw a personal best of 21.87 meters (71 feet, 9 inches).
Hunter, a bronze medallist in the 1997 World Championships, achieved stardom in the 1999 World Championships, with a then personal best throw of 21.79 meters (71 feet, 5 3/4 inches). He was heading for his second Olympics, having placed seventh in Atlanta 1996 with a throw of 20.39 meters (66-10 3/4), when a knee-injury put him out of the squad, four days before the opening ceremony.
Hunter was the throwing coach at the University of North Carolina, when he met Marion Jones, seven years his junior and then an undergraduate. They became friends, then struck up a relationship. Since there was a University rule in place banning coach-student liaisons, Hunter resigned from his job in 1996. The two were married on October 3, 1998.
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