At 47 years old, Marion Jones has this physical status:
Marion Lois Jones (born October 12, 1975), also known as Marion Jones-Thompson, is an American former world champion track and field athlete and a former professional basketball player for Tulsa Shock in the WNBA.
She won three gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but was later stripped of her medals after admitting to steroid use.
Jones did retain her 3 titles as world champion from 1997–1999. At the time of her admission and subsequent guilty plea, Jones was one of the most famous athletes to be linked to the BALCO scandal.
The case against BALCO covered more than 20 top level athletes, including Jones's ex-husband, shot putter C.J.
Hunter, and 100 m sprinter Tim Montgomery, the father of Jones' first child.
Marion Jones was born to George Jones and his wife, Marion, (originally from Belize) in Los Angeles, California. She holds dual citizenship with the United States and Belize. Her parents split when she was very young, and Jones's mother remarried a retired postal worker, Ira Toler, three years later. Toler became a stay-at-home dad to Jones and her older half-brother, Albert Kelly, until his sudden death in 1987. Jones turned to sports as an outlet for her grief: running, pickup basketball games, and anything else her brother Albert was doing athletically. By the age of 15, she was routinely dominating California high school athletics both on the track and the basketball court.
Jones is also a 1997 graduate of the University of North Carolina (UNC). While there, she met and began dating one of the track coaches, shot putter C.J. Hunter. Hunter voluntarily resigned his position at UNC to comply with the requirements of university rules prohibiting coach-athlete dating. Jones and Hunter were married on October 3, 1998, and trained for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.
In the run-up to the 2000 Olympics, Jones declared that she intended to win gold medals in all five of her competition events at Sydney. Jones's husband, C.J. Hunter, had withdrawn from the shot-put competition for a knee injury, though he was allowed to keep his coaching credentials and attend the games to support his wife. However, just hours after Marion Jones won her first of the planned five golds, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Hunter had failed four pre-Olympic drug tests, testing positive each time for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone. Hunter was immediately suspended from taking any role at the Sydney games, and he was ordered to surrender his on-field coaching credentials. At a press conference where Hunter broke down in tears, he denied taking any performance-enhancing drugs, much less the easily detected nandrolone (which showed up in all four tests in amounts over 1,000 times normal levels); Victor Conte of BALCO, who was regularly supplying "nutritional supplements" to athletes trained by Trevor Graham, blamed the test results on "an iron supplement" that contained nandrolone precursors and tied previous positive nandrolone tests from Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey and British sprinter Linford Christie to the same supplement. As late as 2004, Hunter was still denying the charges and attempting to gain access to the results to see if they could be analyzed further. Jones would later write in her autobiography, Marion Jones: Life in the Fast Lane, that Hunter's positive drug tests hurt their marriage and her image as a drug-free athlete. The couple divorced in 2002.
On June 28, 2003, Jones gave birth to a son, Tim Montgomery Jr, with then-boyfriend Tim Montgomery, a world-class sprinter himself. Because of her pregnancy, Jones missed the 2003 World Championships but spent a year preparing for the 2004 Olympics. Montgomery, who did not qualify for the 2004 Olympic Track and Field team for poor performance, was charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), as part of the investigation into the BALCO doping scandal, with receiving and using banned performance-enhancing drugs. The USADA sought a four-year suspension for Montgomery. Montgomery fought the ban but lost the appeal on December 13, 2005, receiving a two-year ban from track and field competition; the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) also stripped Montgomery of all race results, records and medals, from March 31, 2001, onward. Montgomery later announced his retirement. The investigation into Montgomery's illegal substance use once more called into question Jones's own protests about not using steroids and never having been tested positive for steroids, especially in light of former trainer Trevor Graham's increasingly visible role in the BALCO case.
On February 24, 2007, Jones married Barbadian sprinter and 2000 Olympic 100m bronze medalist Obadele Thompson. Their first child together, a son named Ahmir, was born in June 2007. She gave birth to daughter Eva-Marie on June 28, 2009.
In 2010, Jones released a book, On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed, published by Simon & Schuster.
In high school, Jones won the CIF California State Meet in the 100 m sprint four years in a row, representing Rio Mesa the first two years and Thousand Oaks high school the last two. She was successfully defended by attorney Johnnie Cochran on charges of doping during her high school track career. She was selected the Gatorade Player of the Year for track and field three years in a row, once at Rio Mesa and twice at Thousand Oaks. Angela Burnham preceded her with the award at Rio Mesa, Kim Mortensen followed her with the award at Thousand Oaks. Those schools joined Jesuit High School (Sacramento) and Long Beach Polytechnic High School in having two athletes win the award. She was Track and Field News "High School Athlete of the Year" in 1991 and 1992. She was the third female athlete to achieve the title twice, immediately following Angela Burnham at Rio Mesa High School, who was the second to achieve the title twice.
She was invited to participate in the 1992 Olympic trials, and, after her showing in the 200 meters finals, would have made the team as an alternate in the 4×100 meters relay, but she declined the invitation. After winning further statewide sprint titles, she accepted a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina in basketball, where she helped the team win the NCAA championship in her freshman year. Jones "red shirted" her 1996 basketball season to concentrate on track. Jones lost her spot on the 1996 Olympic team because of an injury.
She excelled at her first major international competition, winning the 100 m sprint at the 1997 World Championships in Athens, while finishing 10th in the long jump. At the 1999 World Championships, Jones attempted to win four titles, but injured herself in the 200 m after a gold in the 100 m and a long jump bronze.
At the Sydney Olympics, Jones finished with three gold medals (100- and 200-meter sprint, and 4 × 400 m relay) and two bronze medals (long jump and 4 × 100 m relay). However, she was later stripped of these medals after admitting that she had used performance-enhancing drugs. Her ex-husband Hunter, an Olympic shot-putter and confessed steroid user, testified under oath that he had seen her inject drugs into her stomach in the Olympic Village in Sydney. Jones vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs until her confession in 2007.
A dominant force in women's sprinting, Jones was upset in the 100 m sprint at the 2001 World Championships, as Ukrainian Zhanna Pintusevich-Block beat her for her first loss in the event in six years; Pintusevich-Block was one of the names revealed by Victor Conte during the BALCO scandals. Jones, however, did claim the gold in both the 200 m and 4x100 m relay.
On her 2004 Olympics experience, Jones said "It's extremely disappointing, words can't put it into perspective." She came in fifth in the Long Jump and competed in the women's 4x100 m relay where the team swept past the competition in the preliminaries only to miss a baton pass and finish last in the final race. Jones promised that her latest defeat would not be the end of her Olympic efforts, and reasserted in May 2005 that winning a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics remained her "ultimate goal."
May 2006 saw Jones run 11.06 at altitude but into a headwind in her season debut and beat Veronica Campbell and Lauryn Williams in subsequent 100 m events. By July 8, 2006, Jones appeared to be in top form; she won the 100 m sprint at Gaz de France with a time of 10.93 seconds. It was her fastest time in almost four years. Three days later, Jones once more improved on her seasonal best time at the Rome IIAF Golden League (10.91 seconds), but lost to Jamaica's Sherone Simpson, who clocked 10.87.
In November 2009, Jones was working out for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA. She had played basketball while in college at the University of North Carolina, where her team won the national championship in 1994. Her No. 20 jersey, honored by the school, hangs in Carmichael Auditorium. She had been selected in the 3rd round of the 2003 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. On March 10, 2010, the Tulsa Shock announced that Jones had signed to play with the team, making the professional minimum (about $35,000) in her first season. Jones made her debut on May 15, in the Shock's inaugural game at the BOK Center against the Minnesota Lynx. In 47 WNBA games, Jones averaged 2.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
Jones was waived by the Shock on July 21, 2011.