The ongoing investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory doping scandal here in the United States could result in athletes being banned from the Athens Olympics, despite the lack of positive drug tests. But American sprint star Marion Jones continues her counterattack against anti-doping officials claiming the non-test evidence against her is flawed.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency continues to review documents in the BALCO steroids case to determine whether there is enough circumstantial evidence to sanction athletes. World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman said Wednesday that factors besides positive drug tests could be interpreted as a doping offense, including possession and trafficking of the banned substances. Such situations are referred to as "analytical positives."
USA Track and Field chief executive Craig Mosbach says something good could come out of the BALCO scandal. "What's good about the BALCO scandal is it has shown that even those people can be caught," he says. "The sooner they are caught and disciplined the better for our sport."
Marion Jones, one of the biggest names in track and field and winner of five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, met with the United States Anti-Doping Agency officials earlier this week to look at the case against her. Jones' lawyers say the evidence they were shown falls short of the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard USADA says it will use to ban athletes without a positive finding.
Jones has vehemently denied using banned drugs and threatened to sue USADA if it tries to keep her out of the August's Athens Olympics without a positive drug test. The American sprinter told the press she does not know understand why she is a target. "I want to know exactly what you want to know," she says. "Why are they trying to bring down athletes with no positive tests? If I had had a positive test, you guys [the press] would have known. The world would have known. It would have been 'front page' news, you know? Where is it?"
Jones' boyfriend Tim Montgomery, the world record-holder in the 100-meters, is also under scrutiny. Sprinter Kelli White of the United States was banned last week after being confronted with documents in the BALCO case.
White accepted a two-year ban last week based on evidence in the BALCO investigation. All her results and medals dating back to 2000 were expunged from the record books, including the gold medals in the 100- and 200-meters she earned at last year's world championships in Paris.