Washington: Marion Jones, a five-medal winner from the Sydney Olympics whose feats are clouded by nagging drug accusations, is fighting her exclusion from major European athletics meets. Rich Nichols, an attorney for Jones, sent a letter to the IAAF in hopes of pressuring Europe’s top meet organisers to include the 29-year-old American in this year’s meets.
Jones and the father of her son, world 100-metre record holder Tim Montgomery, were not invited by top European meet organizers because of their Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) ties.
Jones has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and has denied any wrongdoing, but she has links to the BALCO labs steroid scandal and BALCO founder Victor Conte claims she is a doping cheat, drawing a defamation lawsuit from Jones in reply.
Nichols said in his letter that by banning Jones, European meet organizers have “unilaterally, very boldly and publicly violated and contravened the IAAF rules.”