Athletics: Jones set to make British jump debut in Gateshead

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The Independent Online

Marion Jones will compete in her first outdoor long jump competition in Britain at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Gateshead on 27 June.

Marion Jones will compete in her first outdoor long jump competition in Britain at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Gateshead on 27 June.

The date will mark the American's first visit to the north-east and represents a major coup for the meeting's organisers. Jones is still undecided whether to go for an unprecedented five gold medals (in the 100metres, 200m, long jump, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay) at this year's Olympic Games in Athens.

A similar attempt four years ago in Sydney resulted in a still impressive haul of three gold medals and two bronze, and the Gateshead meeting could well provide an early indication of whether the long jump will form part of her Olympic programme this year.

"The Olympic Games are only a few months away and, although I haven't made my final decision about which events I'll compete in, jumping in Gateshead will give me a good opportunity to assess my long jump form in competition ahead of Athens," Jones said.

She joins the men's world sprint champion, Kim Collins, and Sweden's world triple jump gold medallist, Christian Olsson, in signing up for Gateshead.

Four US athletes who tested positive for the stimulant modafinil last year will be able to compete in the Olympics after receiving the minimum possible sanction. The sprinter Chryste Gaines and the hurdlers Sandra Glover, Eric Thomas and Chris Phillips received only public warnings because the drug was regarded as a minor stimulant at the time of the offences.

The Anti-Doping Agency in America has yet to consider the case of the double world sprint champion Kelli White.

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