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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
IAAF chief blasts 'fraud' Jones
Marion Jones arrives at court in New York
Jones had repeatedly denied using banned sustances
IAAF president Lamine Diack believes disgraced American sprinter Marion Jones will be remembered as "one of the biggest frauds in sporting history".

The American admitted taking steroids ahead of the Sydney Olympics where she won five medals, three of them gold.

"A lot of people believed in her achievements and this confession leaves a very bitter taste," Diack said.

"It is a tragedy, and I am glad she is aware of the damage that her actions have caused."

Jones, who has admitted lying to federal investigators about her use of the steroid THG in 2003, is facing a six-month prison sentence and could be stripped of the five gongs she won at the 2000 Games.

And Diack said: "As President of the IAAF, it is with mixed emotions that I have learned about the confession of Marion Jones, in a courtroom in New York.

"I am deeply disappointed that an athlete with Marion Jones' immense natural ability gave in to the corrupt, 'get-rich-quick' spin of a dope dealer like Victor Conte."

In 2003 Jones denied receiving any banned substances from Conte, head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), a commercial company based in San Francisco.

Diack said: "If she had trusted to her own natural gifts and allied them to self-sacrifice and hard work I sincerely believe that she could have been an honest champion at the Sydney Games.

"Now, instead, she will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history."

We should be pleased. One of the biggest frauds has been caught. Her medals should also be taken away

World marathon record holder and IAAF Commission member Paula Radcliffe

Diack, however, believes the case shows the sport's governing body is winning the fight against drugs in the sport.

"There is a feeling of satisfaction as it shows that it doesn't matter how big a name you are if you are doping, we will get you in the end," he added.

World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe believes Jones should have her Olympic medals taken away following her admission.

Radcliffe, a long time campaigner against drug cheats said: "We should be pleased. One of the biggest frauds has been caught. Her medals should also be taken away.

"In the long run I think it is good for the sport. There was always speculation she was a drug cheat and this has cleared it up.

"Let's remember, she wouldn't have been caught if there had not been FBI involvement and those of other agencies.

"We have to keep drug testing moving forward. Sport and government agencies need to continue working together.

"There are others out there still getting away with it. She is by no means the only one. But it is not true all athletes use drugs either."

"You just keep testing and testing. We have seen evidence of that happening over the last year or so, people being caught. I think that is working as a bigger deterrent."

US Olympic Committee boss Peter Ueberroth also advocates taking Jones' medals away.

"Ms Jones should immediately return the medals she won while in violation of the rules," said Ueberroth.

606: DEBATE
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"She has cheated her sport, her country and herself."

"She now has an opportunity to make a very different choice by returning her Olympic medals and acknowledge the efforts of the vast majority of athletes who choose to compete clean."

USA Track and Field chief Craig Masback voiced disappointment, not only because Jones had doped but also because she has lied about it for so many years.

"Her fellow competitors, team-mates and the sport are paying the price for her mistakes, and her admission cannot erase that damage," he said.

USOC chief executive Jim Scherr warned that the fight against doping wouldn't stop with Jones.

"If there are other athletes, coaches, trainers or agents - from any segment of sport - who are complicit in this matter, they too will be held accountable," he warned.



SEE ALSO
Jones pleads guilty in drug case
05 Oct 07 |  Americas
Lab to explain Jones' dope tests
30 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Johnson insists Jones must quit
19 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Jones pulls out of World Cup meet
14 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Jones cleared after negative test
07 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Balco boss released from prison
30 Mar 06 |  Athletics


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