IOC strips Jones of Sydney medals

The International Olympic Committee yesterday formally stripped Marion Jones of the five medals she won at the 2000 Sydney Games after she admitted doping offences.

The IOC also barred the American athlete from next year's Beijing Games and may extend the ban. Jones, 32, had returned the medals to the US Olympic Committee and announced her retirement in October after telling a federal court that she used steroids before the 2000 Games.

Jones, who won gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4x400m relay in Sydney, and took the bronze in the long jump and the 4x100m relay, faces up to six months in jail at sentencing on 11 January after pleading guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice in a probe of illegal steroid use.

The IOC is likely to set up an early-warning system with leading betting companies so it can be alerted quickly when unusual gambling patterns occur around sports events.

The IOC president, Jacques Rogge, said if necessary the system would be set up before the Beijing Olympics , but there would first be a meeting with international sporting federations about the issue. The football governing bodies Fifa and Uefa, the International Cricket Council and the International Tennis Federation already have early-warning systems.

Lord Cordon, the ICC's anti-corruption chief, briefed the IOC's executive board on its latest strategy, but does not believe the Olympics are not a particularly high-risk event.

Rogge said the IOC would take steps. "I am not speaking about a threat for any particular Games, but for sport in general this is something we have to address," he said. "Bona fide betting companies can give us early warning by looking at the betting patterns, and then we can act upon it."

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