Marion Jones gets a second chance, joins WNBA

TULSA, Okla. — Former sprinter Marion Jones has signed on to play with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, hoping to launch a new career after losing five Olympic medals for using steroids and doing jail time for lying to federal prosecutors.

Jones was a star at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney but admitted two years ago that she had taken a designer steroid known as the “clear.” She was stripped of her medals, including three golds.

She also spent about six months in a Texas federal prison for lying about doping and her role in a check-fraud scam.

“She made some ill-advised decisions in the past, but everyone deserves a second chance to excel at something they love,” Shock president Steve Swetoha said Wednesday. “The city of Tulsa gave a struggling franchise from Detroit a second chance, and I’m confident it will do the same for Marion. We couldn’t be happier to have her on board.”

Before Jones became known as the world’s fastest woman, she was the starting point guard on North Carolina’s national championship team in 1994. She was drafted by Phoenix in 2003 but never played in the WNBA.

The 34-year-old Jones was introduced Wednesday at a news conference in Tulsa, four days after working out for Shock coach and general manager Nolan Richardson.

Richardson, who led Arkansas to the NCAA men’s championship title the same year Jones won the title at North Carolina, plans to play the same “40 Minutes of Hell” style in the WNBA.

“Watching her go through drills, I saw a player who’s perfect for our system,” Richardson said. “The one thing I do know is she can run, and any player on my team who wants to be successful needs be able to run.”
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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~ by rthoas on March 10, 2010.

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