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Marion Jones passed polygraph test

June 18, 2004 11:16 IST
Triple Olympic champion Marion Jones has passed a privately-administered lie detector test in which she said she had never used performance-enhancing drugs, her lawyer said on Thursday.

"They have more than ample reason to close this matter and exonerate Marion Jones," attorney Joe Burton said in a teleconference that announced the results of the test.

He said the polygraph test, administered at his office in San Francisco on Wednesday, asked two questions: "Did you ever personally use performance-enhancing drugs?," and "Are you now lying about any personal use of performance-enhancing drugs?".

Burton said Jones's "no" to both questions passed the polygraph examination. "If there is any fairness in the process, this matter should be over," he said.

Jones's attorney also released a letter he sent on Thursday to the legal director of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has been investigating the American athlete following the BALCO scandal that has indicted four people.

"Ms Jones's passing of this polygraph examination fully vindicates the position we have stated to you privately and to the public in general: that Ms Jones has never used performance-enhancing drugs at any time in her life, whether or not such drugs relate to BALCO or any other entity or person," Burton wrote.

PUBLIC CAMPAIGN

Rich Wanninger, USADA's director of communications and public affairs, said in a statement on Thursday: "USADA does not comment on specific cases.

"We have repeatedly said that anyone who possesses what they believe to be reliable information, related to drug use in sports, should send us that information."

According to documents released by Burton's office, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent administered the polygraph test.

The release of the lie detector results was the latest volley in a very public campaign by Jones's attorneys and advisers to clear her name ahead of the track and field trials in Sacramento next month to determine the U.S. Olympic team for the Athens Games in August.

USADA recently gave Jones documents stemming from the BALCO investigation they believe show steroid use, something Jones denied before the BALCO grand jury last year and again on Wednesday.

The documents stemming from the government's probe of the San Francisco area firm BALCO include calendars and ledgers with cryptic notes believed to have been written by BALCO head Victor Conte.

At a San Francisco news conference on Wednesday, Jones said that she had used a legal zinc supplement developed by BALCO from 1999-2001. Earlier she had denied using that ZMA supplement from BALCO.

Jones has not been charged with any doping violation and has often repeated that she has never failed a drug test.

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