Under-fire Jones pulls out of Palace meet

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The Independent Online

Marion Jones, whose former husband accused her last weekend of taking drugs during the last Olympics, announced last night that she has withdrawn from this Friday's Norwich Union London Grand Prix.

Marion Jones, whose former husband accused her last weekend of taking drugs during the last Olympics, announced last night that she has withdrawn from this Friday's Norwich Union London Grand Prix.

The triple Olympic champion stayed at home in Raleigh, North Carolina, to focus on her preparations for next month's Games in Athens, where she has qualified for the long jump.

Jones, who had been due to compete in the 100 metres and long jump at Crystal Palace, said in a statement: "My focus is on winning gold in Athens." Her only individual competition before the Olympics will now be a 100m in Zurich on 6 August.

Jones has been under pressure following the doping investigation into the Balco laboratory in California which has left her partner, Tim Montgomery, facing a life ban. At Gateshead last month she left the stadium by a side door after avoiding media. The revelations of C J Hunter, the shot putter who was banned on the eve of the Sydney Games, have worsened her position.

Darren Campbell, the 200m silver medallist in Sydney, is still seeking his best form before doubling up in the sprints at Athens. Campbell finished sixth in the 100m in Stockholm last night in 10.33sec. Ghana's Aziz Zakari won in 10.00sec.

The home favourite Christian Olsson, the world triple jump champion, saw his 29-meet unbeaten run come to an end as Marian Oprea, of Romania recorded 17.30m, two centimetres, further than the Swede.

Bahrain's naturalised Moroccan Rachid Ramzi, making his first appearance since beating the world 1500m record-holder, Hicham El Guerrouj, in Rome, could only finish third in 3min 35.57sec, almost five seconds slower than he ran in Italy.

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