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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Johnson insists Jones must quit
Michael Johnson (l) and Marion Jones
Johnson believes Jones has a tarnished reputation
World 200m and 400m record holder Michael Johnson says sprinter Marion Jones should quit despite being cleared of taking drug erythropoietin (EPO).

Jones tested positive for the banned substance at June's US championships but the "B" sample proved negative.

"I don't believe she will ever be able to repair her image," Johnson told the Daily Telegraph.

"For the sake of her own well-being and the sport, it would be best if she went away quietly."

Jones, who won three gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

The 30-year-old was linked to the Balco steroid distribution investigation but was never charged with any offence.

There has been far too much damage done to her reputation

Michael Johnson

Jones's former partner, former 100m world record holder Tim Montgomery, announced his retirement from athletics in 2005 after receiving a two-year doping ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She has struggled for form over the last three years but has launched a comeback this season which she hopes will lead to a place at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

In June she won the US 100m championship in 11.10 seconds, and she has three of the five fastest times in the world this year.

Jones was facing a two-year ban after testing positive for blood-boosting drug EPO, but earlier this month, it was announced that the 'B' sample was negative.

But Johnson believes the scandal has tarnished the sprinter's image.

"I don't believe Jones will ever get back to the type of performances that made her one of the highest profile women athletes in the world," he added.

"There has been far too much damage done to her reputation due to, if nothing else, the people she has surrounded herself with the last several years - some of whom have been involved in some of the largest drug scandals in the sport.

"Jones also has passed her prime as an athlete and lost several good years dealing with these scandals and allegations which have surely made it difficult to focus."



SEE ALSO
Jones pulls out of World Cup meet
14 Sep 06 |  Athletics
How Jones was cleared
07 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Jones cleared after negative test
07 Sep 06 |  Athletics
EPO explained
28 Jan 06 |  Sport Homepage
Powell and Jones triumph in Paris
08 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Jones caps comeback with NY win
04 Jun 06 |  Athletics
Jones showing signs of recovery
14 May 06 |  Athletics
Jones & Conte settle in lawsuit
08 Feb 06 |  Athletics
Montgomery hit with two-year ban
13 Dec 05 |  Athletics
Jones slams attempts at Euro ban
10 Jun 05 |  Athletics
Jones doping probe begins
07 Dec 04 |  Athletics
Jones hits back at Hunter
24 Jul 04 |  Athletics
Jones remains defiant
27 Jun 04 |  Athletics
Jones faces grand jury
14 Nov 03 |  Athletics


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