Sports documentary ‘Untold: Hall of Shame’ on Netflix, directed by Bryan Storkel, explores the specifics of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) doping controversy. Given the scope of the case, it is not surprising that the movie mentions a number of well-known athletes. One of the most frequently mentioned athletes was Marion Jones-Thompson, better known by her stage name Marion Jones, a former Olympian who soon had to deal with tough questions about her preexisting records.
Who is Marion Jones?
Marion Jones-Thompson, the daughter of George Jones and Marion, was born in Los Angeles, California, on October 12, 1975. The track athlete was born in the United States but holds dual citizenship in both nations thanks to her mother’s Belizean heritage. Marion grew up having a close relationship with her stepfather, Ira Toler, whom her mother had wed about three years after divorcing her father. When Toler unexpectedly passed away in 1987, it had a big influence on Marion, who he raised as a stay-at-home dad.
Following in the footsteps of her older half-brother Albert Kelly Toler, Marion used her grief as fuel for her athletic endeavours. She didn’t take long to begin becoming well-known for her abilities on the track. She completed her education by earning a degree from the University of North Carolina in 1997. On October 3, 1998, she married shot putter CJ Hunter. She continued to dominate the Sydney, Australia, 2000 Olympics, taking home three gold and two bronze.
However, Hunter’s doping tests revealed that he had tested positive for a steroid called Nandrolone, which he adamantly denied, during Marion’s participation in various events at the 2000 Games. But alas, according to her autobiography, these accusations were sufficient to cause a rupture in Marion and Hunter’s marriage, resulting in their divorce in 2002.
Because of Marion’s previous associations with numerous doping incidents and the fact that Trevor Graham, who served as her coach for two years, was a coach who was allegedly found to have given multiple athletes Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), sometimes known as “The Clear,” Marion’s own reliability began to be called into doubt. She remained adamant, nevertheless, that she hadn’t used any steroids throughout the BALCO scandal investigations. This did not, however, imply that she could ignore the doubts that had begun to follow her everywhere.
On October 5, 2007, Marion admitted to lying under oath to federal officials and committing perjury. In fact, she entered a guilty plea at the Southern District of New York US District Court. Marion publicly acknowledged using anabolic drugs prior to the 2000 Olympics. She said that while working under Graham’s guidance, she had genuinely used steroids up until 2002. She did, however, assert that she had utilised what she believed to be a flaxseed oil supplement during the BALCO inquiry.
Where is Marion Jones Now
On January 11, 2008, Marion Jones received a six-month prison term for her perjury-related conduct. The start of her sentence was on March 7, 2008, and her release date was September 5. Marion was also given a two-year ban and had all of her accomplishments made after September 1, 2000, stripped by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), despite she retired in October 2007. This includes her five medals from the 2000 Olympics—three gold and two bronze—which the International Olympic Committee formally revoked and which she eventually surrendered before October 8, 2007.
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It’s interesting to note that Marion also acknowledged lying under oath when asked if she knew about a conspiracy to counterfeit checks involving her ex-boyfriend, Timothy “Tim” Montgomery. As of this writing, she and Obadele Thompson are a happy couple. Ahmir Thompson, their first child, was born in June 2007 after the couple wed on February 24, 2007. On June 28, 2009, their daughter Eva-Marie Thompson was born. Tim Montgomery Jr., who was born on June 28, 2003, is also Marion’s child.
Marion was associated with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) from November 2009 to July 2011, starting with the San Antonio Silver Stars and then the Tulsa Shock. The ex-athlete wrote a book in 2010 titled “On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed” in which she recounts her life’s events up to that point.
Marion continues to be physically active today while working as a national recruiter and personal trainer. She maintains a Facebook training group and provides individuals who are interested virtual exercise lessons. She seems most happy to be there for her children and other family members throughout the important times in their lives. We pray for the best for Marion and everyone around her, and that they have happy and full lives.