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Marion Jones takes stance against threat of suspension

Associated Press

With each question Marion Jones gets about steroids, her denials become more emphatic.

She took everything a step further Sunday, saying she would go to court if the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency bars her from competing in the Athens Olympics without a positive drug test.

USADA has the power to bring a drug case against an athlete in lieu of a positive test when the agency has “other reason to believe that a potential doping violation has occurred, such as admitted doping,” according to its rules.

Jones, speaking at the U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit that also featured swimmers Michael Phelps, Gary Hall Jr. and Jenny Thompson during several sessions Sunday, was one of several athletes who testified before a grand jury in the BALCO investigation.

“If I make the Olympic team, which I plan to do in Sacramento, and I’m held from the Olympic Games because of something that somebody thought, you can pretty much bet there will be a lawsuit,” said Jones, who won five track and field medals at the 2000 Olympics.

“I’m not going to sit down and let someone or a group of people or an organization take away my livelihood because of a hunch, because of a thought, because of somebody who’s trying to show their power.”

The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are in Sacramento, Calif., from July 9-18.

Not everyone believes USADA’s rules are unfair. Hall, who has won eight Olympic medals, says Jones needs to be more forthcoming.

At the request of her lawyers and management team, Jones refuses to comment on how she became involved with BALCO and its founder, Victor Conte.

U.S. Olympic Hall returns

Janet Evans and Jackie Joyner-Kersee headline the first U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class since 1992.

Swimmer Matt Biondi, late track and field standout Florence Griffith Joyner and speedskaters Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair also were selected.

Also inducted were the 1996 women’s soccer team, paralympian Randy Snow, veteran inductee Alice Coachman Davis, and special contributor Bud Greenspan.

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced the additions Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit. The Hall was founded in 1983; no new members were added in the past 12 years because of a lack of funding.

2012 finalists due

When the IOC meets this week to come up with a short list of finalists to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, the question is: How short?

With nine cities in the running, the International Olympic Committee executive board is expected to eliminate at least three candidates and possibly as many as five Tuesday.

The IOC doesn’t have a target number of finalists, but several members said in interviews that five is most likely.

Four cities are virtually assured of making the cut: Paris, London, New York and Madrid, Spain.

One definitely won’t stay in it: Havana.

That leaves four cities on the bubble: Moscow; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Istanbul, Turkey; and Leipzig, Germany. At least two of those could be dropped.

The 2012 host will be selected in July 2005 in Singapore.

U.S. women qualify in sailing

Australia’s men and Sweden’s women won gold medals at the 470 world sailing championships, the last Olympic qualifying regatta.

The United States was among five women’s teams to clinch spots for the Athens Games, joining Argentina, Canada, Brazil and Italy.

The six men’s Olympic qualifying berths were earned by Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, South Korea, Hungary and Austria.

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