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North Carolina

Marion Jones makes comeback with new book

Posted October 27, 2010
Updated October 28, 2010

— Former Olympic gold medalist and University of North Carolina track star Marion Jones is speaking out in a new autobiography about being a star athlete and the performance-enhancing drugs that ultimately led to the end of her track and field career.

“On the Right Track,” which was released Tuesday, chronicles her life since pleading guilty in October 2007 to lying to federal investigators looking into drug use among athletes.

In December 2007, the International Olympic Committee stripped her of her three gold and two bronze medals that she won at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

She served a six-month prison sentence in 2008 – during which she spent more than a month in solitary confinement after fighting another inmate – and has since returned to sports, most recently playing with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.

"The most important thing I learned was how important faith is, how important it is to hold on to something, when literally there is nothing but walls around you,” the 35-year-old wife and mother of three said Wednesday.

“I’ve been able to go through all that, and now I’m heading back up the ladder toward success,” Jones said.

Jones publicly denied for years that she used steroids, but she maintains in her book that she didn’t realize that she was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

“Yes, I took a performance-enhancing drug, and I can’t go back and undo any of it,” she writes. “What happened, happened. I’m not holding anyone responsible for the fact that I’m the one who put it in my body. … Nobody forced me.”

Jones, who was a freshman guard on UNC’s 1994 NCAA championship women’s basketball team, spent Wednesday at her alma mater, speaking to the current team about the lessons she’s learned.

“I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve come home, and I want to help people not make the same mistakes in their lives,” she said.

"It's not easy for me to wake up sometimes, knowing that I've disappointed so many people and that I've hurt so many people,” Jones added. “What I regret the most is not holding onto the values that I learned here at Carolina.”

Jones is also the subject of an upcoming ESPN 30 documentary, “Marion Jones: Press Pause,” which is scheduled to air Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.

37 Comments

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  • Hokies94 Oct 28, 5:14 p.m.

    She didn't screw up her life as some stated. She is young and smart. She will rebound and live a normal productive live. I'll bet that she will contribute in a positive manner to society. She has a lot to offer in many ways that she chooses.

  • Hokies94 Oct 28, 4:21 p.m.

    I read just about all of these. Marion Jones was a gifted athlete in basketball and track. She took a chance with some shady people to give her an extra edge in track by taking these drugs. She was great before she ever took these things.

    She served her time. I have already stated that she messed up. She wants to get her life back, and make a living. HOW many of us haven't made a mistake. Give her a chance. That's what the good book tells us to do. What if she was your child? What would you want then?

  • Rdi73162 Oct 28, 1:41 p.m.

    she screwed her life up and has paid a big price for it, i wish her the
    best for her future.....
    View More

    — Posted by Rdi73162

    Nope - where she went to school doesn't matter to me. What does matter is that she cheated and... View More

    — Posted by bgoettee

    the fact you`re mentioning VH1 shows and clay aiken tells me im probably
    alot older than you. probably why we can forgive easier than you kids, and hope
    someone betters their life in the future.

    be thankful the good lord doesnt feel the same as alot of you, maybe you all
    shouldnt be forgiven, hmmmmmmmm
    not saying it should ever be forgotten what she did, but she paid for it.

  • csplantlover Oct 28, 1:40 p.m.

    Unfortunately, she's still lying her way around the world. She couldn't even give Robin Roberts a straight answer when asked point blank if she did the steroids she claims she was "unaware" of..........what a typical piece of UNC garbage. She fits right in.

  • br549znc Oct 28, 1:31 p.m.

    "The sad part is that some of us will buy this book and help line the pockets of someone that cheated her way to the top."

    And some of us will not.....

  • andy2 Oct 28, 12:46 p.m.

    Cheater

  • maryellen Oct 28, 12:27 p.m.

    I'm glad that she is admitting to cheating but she took the gold medal away from someone who earned it honestly. She can't make up for that.

  • Blessed and Highly Favored Oct 28, 11:23 a.m.

    People act as if they have never made a mistake or told a lie. Shame on you..who are you to judge Marion? We live ane we learn. I wish her well and pray that she can move on from this and prosper.

  • Corporal Snark Oct 28, 10:24 a.m.

    Cheat, lie, obfuscate: THE CAROLINA WAY!

  • southraleigh Oct 28, 10:19 a.m.

    With all that's going on with UNC football right now there's going to be extra scrutiny on the motives of any athlete associated with UNC. There's a stigma with UNC athletics that isn't going to go away easily. Sympathy for former UNC athletes who cheated is probably at an all time low.

    It's unfortunate for Marion that her book came out during the football scandal.

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