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Jones Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail

Disgraced American sprinter Marion Jones has been sentenced to six months in jail for lying to U.S government investigators about her steroid use.

A U.S. District Court judge in White Plains, New York (Kenneth Karas) handed down the sentence Friday, three months after Jones pleaded guilty to two charges of lying when she denied that she took a banned drug known as "the clear."

Jones will serve six months for lying to federal agents and for a separate check fraud charge. She was also given two years probation and must perform 800 hours of community service.

Once the biggest name in track and field, the 32-year-old Jones is now destitute. She has been stripped of her medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where she won three golds and two bronzes. All of her performances since September 2000 have been erased from the record books and she has lost millions of dollars earned from endorsements.

A statement from USA Track and Field head Craig Masback said the sentencing "concludes a sad series of events." Masback said Jones's case graphically illustrates the wages of cheating in any phase of life. The statement said the U.S. governing body hopes that Jones and her family can move on from this situation.

Jones was most worried about her two young children as she asked the judge for a lighter sentence. She talked at length about her boys, including the infant son she is still nursing.

She said she intends to be honest with them and "guide them into not making the same mistakes."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.