Marion Jones Thompson

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How did Marion go from a celebrated athlete to a convicted felon? Looking back, she says a split-second decision she made years ago changed the course of her life.

In 2001, Marion says she was invited to meet with federal prosecutors who were investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs among athletes. "They're asking me different questions about the whole involvement with the use of performance-enhancing drugs and sport," she says. "Then, they then pulled out the little vial, I can say, and pushed it across the table."

Marion says she recognized the clear liquid as a supplement her coach, Trevor Graham, had given to her on several different occasions. The prosecutors, however, informed her that the vial actually contained a steroid known as "the clear." "Before they showed it to me, I never knew what it looked like because it wasn't introduced to me as 'the clear,'" she says. "So when they showed it to me and they said, 'This is the substance,' and I knew that I had taken that substance. I made the decision that I was going to lie. I was going to try and cover it up."

It only took three or four seconds for Marion to make the choice that would come back to haunt her. "It's one of those moments that you wish you could go back, and you wish you can have again," she says.

Trevor was later convicted of one count of lying to federal investigators. He denies providing Marion Jones or any other athletes with steroids.
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FROM: Former Olympic Medalist Marion Jones' First Interview After Prison
Published on October 27, 2008

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