Track and field star Marion Jones injected herself with banned performance-enhancing drugs during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, her ex-husband told federal investigators involved with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) scandal, two San Francisco area newspapers reported last night.
C.J. Hunter, who tested positive for steroids before ending his career in 2000, said that Jones, who won five medals at those Olympics, had human growth hormone and a designer steroid known as "The Clear" with her throughout the Games, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News reported. Hunter, who was divorced from Jones in 2002, said she also took the banned endurance-enhancer EPO and that he had injected her with banned substances at times. He also said he watched her inject herself at their residence in Australia, according to the reports.
Hunter, a former shot put champion, met for approximately 21/2 hours with investigators in Raleigh, N.C., on June 8. He gave another interview by phone a week later, the newspaper reported.
Jones, who won three gold medals in Sydney, has repeatedly denied using any banned performance-enhancing drugs. She recently expressed frustration with Hunter's spate of positive drug tests for the steroid nandrolone before the Sydney Games in a book that just hit store shelves. She and Hunter separated early in 2001 and divorced a year later.
In a statement, Jones's attorney Joseph Burton said Hunter has "had an axe to grind ever since Marion Jones ended their marriage." Burton accused Hunter of trying to "exact revenge by telling lies to the government."
Hunter's attorney, Rusty DeMent, declined comment, saying only that Hunter would continue to cooperate with all relevant governmental agencies.
Jones obtained banned drugs from Victor Conte, the owner of BALCO, and her former coach Trevor Graham, Hunter told investigators, according to reports. Graham, however, denied dealing with performance-enhancing drugs or being aware of any such involvement by Jones in interviews with investigators, the papers reported.
Conte has pleaded not guilty to steroid conspiracy charges.
Jones, who last summer had a baby with sprinter Tim Montgomery, qualified for the Aug. 13-29 Summer Games in just one event, the long jump. She blamed her return from childbirth for her struggles in the sprints; she failed to finish in the top three of the 100 meters and pulled out of the 200, citing fatigue.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has been investigating Jones for months but has not formally charged her. It is seeking lifetime bans against four other track and field athletes with ties to BALCO, which is the subject of a federal steroid investigation that has led to the indictments of Conte and three other men.
USADA officials have met with Hunter in Raleigh, according to sources. USADA spokesman Rich Wanninger declined comment last night.
Hunter also acknowledged using banned drugs from Conte, but only after he retired from track and field, according to memos from investigators. Hunter maintained that he used banned substances after retiring in order to lose weight. He attributed his positive tests in the summer of 2000 to legal dietary supplements tainted with steroids.
Hunter told investigators Jones began ramping up her steroid use in the spring of 2000, leading up to a popular meet.
"Hunter stated that he saw Jones inject herself with EPO," IRS agent Erwin Rogers wrote, according to the reports. "Jones would inject herself in the front waist line area slightly underneath the skin. Graham instructed Jones to inject herself in this area. Initially, Hunter injected Jones because Jones did not want to inject herself in this location."
Hunter told investigators the syringes had been sent by Conte and flushed down the toilet after use. He said packages came with a return address that used the name Vince Reed.
The Chronicle reported that Conte's attorney, Robert Holley, declined comment on Hunter's statement, other than to say, "We are shocked and outraged once again that there has been another leak of information that needs to be tested in the dynamics of the courtroom."
Hunter said "The Clear" was contained in a plastic vial, and he recalled Jones used it more than any other drug -- two or more times a week, the newspaper reported. She took it orally via a needleless syringe, he said.