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Jones seeks charges against ex-husband

Adam Tanner and Gene Cherry | July 24, 2004 11:25 IST

Lawyers for Olympic track champion Marion Jones said on Friday that her ex-husband C.J. Hunter should be prosecuted for lying to federal officials following reports he told them Jones had used steroids at the 2000 Sydney Games.

"Since C.J. Hunter has lied to government officials, he also needs to be investigated, be subjected to a polygraph investigation and prosecuted for lying to federal investigators," her attorney Joseph Burton said.

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Several California newspapers reported that former shot putter Hunter, who was himself banned for using steroids and who was divorced from Jones in 2002, made the allegations to investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal.

A person answering the phone at Hunter's North Carolina home referred questions to his attorney, who in turn did not respond to requests for comment.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported it had obtained investigators' memos containing Hunter's claims, which also said that he sometimes personally injected Jones with banned performance-enhancing substances, which included the designer steroid THG, endurance-boosting EPO and human growth hormone.

"She is absolutely telling the truth when she says she never took any performance-enhancing drugs," attorney Rich Nichols said of Jones, 28, who has never failed a drug test.

The stories were the latest allegations in the case against the San Francisco-area BALCO laboratory which had led to the indictment of the lab's two officials, a well-known track coach and baseball star Barry Bonds' personal trainer.

Bad blood between some of those related to the case as well as ambition and egos have heightened sensitivity about leaks to the media and have irked the judge overseeing the case.

"We would request that all relevant individuals be put under oath and examined either in court or under deposition and or that they submit to polygraph examination." Burton said.

In an earlier statement, Burton said: "C.J. Hunter has had an ax to grind ever since Marion Jones ended their marriage."

Nichols added: "C.J.'s statements are filled with inconsistencies which only show that they are lies and lies and still more lies."

Jones, who has dominated women's track and field in recent years, won the 100 and 200 metres at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as a gold in the 4x400 metres relay, winning five medals in all. Earlier this month she failed to qualify for the sprints at the U.S. trials but is still set to compete in the long jump at the Athens Games in August.

Jones' lawyers also released a letter from her doctor Richard Ferro at the Duke University Medical Center saying that he had never seen any evidence that she had taken performance-enhancing drugs. But they acknowledged she became his patient in 2001, after the 2000 Olympics

Men's world 100 metres record holder Tim Montgomery, Jones' partner and the father of her child, has been charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with a doping offence following the BALCO scandal but has proclaimed his innocence and is taking his case to arbitration.

He failed to make the U.S team in the national trials and will miss the Olympics. Jones is already under scrutiny by USADA but has not been charged with an offence.

Travis Tygart, USADA director of legal affairs, would not comment specifically on Hunter's allegations when contacted by phone at his Colorado home. "USADA is extremely appreciative of those individuals who come forward with relevant information," he said, adding that USADA followed up every lead it received.

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