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Ex-sprinter Marion Jones plans switch to basketball

Marion Jones
Jones made a tearful statement outside New York's federal court in 2007

Disgraced sprinter Marion Jones is in basketball training with a view to playing in the women's NBA.

Jones left prison in September last year after serving a six-month sentence for lying about steroid use and involvement in a drugs fraud case.

Reports state that the 34-year-old has been working on her skills in San Antonio since October.

"It would be an interesting journey if I decided to do this," Jones told the New York Times.

"It would give me an opportunity to share my message to young people on a bigger platform, it would give me an opportunity to get a second chance."

How can I use my experience, my story, to help people and in the process hop on this journey of trying to make a team?

Marion Jones

Jones played college basketball at North Carolina, where she was the starting point guard on their national championship team in 1994.

She also told the New York Times that she hopes to play in Europe this winter and in the WNBA next season.

"It's important for people to know that it's possible to make a mistake in your life, but it's what you do after the mistake that people are going to remember you by," she added.

"Are you going to make whatever negatives that happened in your life a positive? Are you going to disappear? That has certainly never been in my horizon.

"How can I use my experience, my story, to help people and in the process hop on this journey of trying to make a team?"

San Antonio Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes says he has not yet been told by his assistants whether Jones has the ability to play in the WNBA, but praised her for trying.

"I deal with people where they are right now," he said. "If she's interested in playing, great for her. The past is the past."

In October 2007, Jones admitted lying to investigators that she took the banned anabolic steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) before the Games.

The United States athlete pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury and admitted to using the drug between September 2000 to July 2001.

Jones also pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in 2003 about a separate cheque fraud case involving her former boyfriend, sprinter Tim Montgomery.

She was sentenced in January 2008 by a federal judge in New York and went to prison on 7 March last year.

Jones was stripped of the five medals she won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and retired from athletics after being given two-year ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

see also
Disgraced US sprinter leaves jail
05 Sep 08 |  Americas
Six-month jail sentence for Jones
11 Jan 08 |  Americas
Marion Jones's fall from grace
11 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Jones stripped of Olympic medals
12 Dec 07 |  Athletics
Jones's results annulled by IAAF
23 Nov 07 |  Athletics
IAAF chief blasts 'fraud' Jones
06 Oct 07 |  Athletics
Jones pleads guilty in drug case
06 Oct 07 |  Americas
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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