News & Notes
Jones Asks Bush to Commute Her Six-Month Sentence
Disgraced Olympic track star Marion Jones has asked President Bush to commute her six-month prison sentence for lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and a check-fraud scam.
The Justice Department confirmed yesterday that Jones is among hundreds of convicted felons who have applied for presidential pardons or sentence commutations, but it would provide no further details. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that removes civil liabilities stemming from a criminal conviction, while a commutation reduces or eliminates a person's sentence.
Such applications are reviewed by the Justice Department, which makes recommendations to the president. It's unclear when Jones made the request. She entered prison March 7 in Fort Worth.
After frequently denying that she ever used performance-enhancing drugs, Jones admitted last October she had lied to federal investigators in November 2003. Jones also admitted lying about her knowledge of the involvement of Tim Montgomery, the father of her older son and a former 100-meter world record holder, in a scheme to cash millions of dollars worth of stolen or forged checks.
· CYCLING: New Tour de France leader Frank Schleck and his CSC team were given a surprise doping test after the 15th stage ended in Cuneo, Italy. No results were announced in a race in which three riders have been ousted for drugs.
As many as six riders were tested at CSC's hotel, the Italian Olympic Committee said. Labs usually require several days to analyze doping tests. Fifteen more surprise tests were carried out by CONI, which oversees doping within Italy, on unnamed teams.
The teams remained in Italy for a rest day before the 16th stage brings the race to France today.
· SOCCER: A halftime brawl at a Columbus Crew match on Sunday won't mar the rest of British club West Ham's trip through North America.
Team chief executive Scott Duxbury said that a fight between the teams' fans was isolated and shouldn't overshadow the club's trip to the United States.
About 30 fans of the English Premier League club and more than 100 Crew supporters scuffled, and some threw punches. No injuries were reported.