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Jones passes second drug test, is cleared of doping


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Five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones has been cleared of allegations she used performance-enhancing drugs in June at the U.S. track and field championships, where she won the 100 meters.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed Jones on Wednesday afternoon that tests on her "B" urine sample came back negative, according to one of her lawyers, Howard Jacobs. Her "A" sample tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), an endurance-boosting drug.

The negative "B" test means she won't be charged with any doping violations and can return to competition. Both tests were performed at a UCLA lab.

"I am absolutely ecstatic," Jones said in a statement released Wednesday night by her lawyers. "I have always maintained that I have never, ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I am pleased that a scientific process has now demonstrated that fact."

Jones' performances, in decline since she gave birth to her son in June 2003, are on an upswing this season. She has broken 11 seconds in the 100 twice and won the U.S. title by edging world champion Lauryn Williams.

"I am anxious to get back on the track," Jones said in the statement.

At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Jones became the first woman to win five track medals, with golds in the 100, 200 and 4x400 relay and bronzes in the long jump and 4x100 relay.

Jones has been dogged by doping suspicions in recent years. Her son's father, sprinter Tim Montgomery, was banned from the sport last year as a result of the probe into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

*BALCO opened doors, 3C

*Lawyer criticizes flaws, 3C

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© Copyright 2006 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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