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Jones still doubtful for World Cup

Written by: Staff
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ATHENS, Sep 14 (Reuters) Former triple Olympic champion Marion Jones was still in doubt for this weekend's World Cup only 48 hours before she was due to compete in the team event.

Jones, who failed to win a single medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics following her three gold medals and two bronzes in Sydney four years earlier, is the event's biggest name after world record holder Asafa Powell withdrew from the 100 metres.

''We have no word yet on whether she will come'', an event official told Reuters today. ''We have not heard anything and it seems the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) has not heard anything either.'' The official said Jones had until Friday afternoon to confirm her presence.

''But due to the time difference with the United States I think we will know well before tomorrow afternoon,'' he said.

Jones was cleared of doping last week after her B sample tested negative for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Her initial sample had tested positive for the drug at the U.S. championships in June. Had the second sample also been positive, she would have faced a two-year ban from the sport.

The 30-year-old has been under scrutiny by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in connection with the BALCO laboratory doping scandal but has never been charged with a doping offence.

Jones, who has repeatedly denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs, has run poorly since giving birth to a son in 2003.

She returned to form this year, winning the U.S. 100 title, and only Jamaican Sherone Simpson has clocked a faster time than the American's 10.91 seconds.

REUTERS AY BST2040

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