Marion Jones is a world known track and field athlete who was praised as one of the biggest names in the sport until she lost her medals after discovering she was a regular steroid user.
This raised a huge controversy because it raised doubts about how many other athletes used these substances and gained their medals illegally. It was a huge thing in the media back in the days.
She was born as Marion Lois Jones on October 12, 1975, in Los Angeles in California, the United States in a low-income family.
Her father is George Jones and her mother is Marion, who originated from Belize. Her mother has two citizenships: American and Belizian. This meant that she was a pretty exotic combination of features and got a lot of attention because of it.
Marion had a very tough childhood since her parents divorced when she was only 8 years old. Her mother worked in a lot of places: she worked as a waitress and a cook. She really wanted to provide herself with a good job and have a good life, but she just wasn’t sure if she was good enough.
She was a very young kid when her parents started having marital problems and finally split. A few years later her mother found a new man whom she got married to. It was Ira Toler who worked in the post-office.
Ira Toler became a great dad to her and her half-brother named Albert. Unfortunately, Albert tragically died in 1987. This was a big shock for Marion who loved her brother very much.
She turned to basketball and track and field and soon excelled in both sports. She was 15 years old when she became the dominant athlete in high school.
The sport was her way out of depression after her brother died and she wanted to become the best for him since he was also a good athlete.
She was an extremely successful athlete in high school and has won Gatorade Player of the Year award three times in a row. She was a student in two high schools: in Rio Mesa and in Thousand Oaks high school.
She was the High School Athlete of the Year two years in a row, in 1991 and in 1992. This helped her become more famous in school, which helped her become more famous in the circles where various coaches act.
Although she was great in track and field she has chosen to take a scholarship in basketball at the University of North Carolina. This wasn’t unusual for her, actually, she was always a multitasker.
In 1996 she started focusing on track but couldn’t join the Olympic team because of her injury.
In 1997 she won the 100 m sprint in the world Championship in Athens.
After finishing high school she became a student at the University of North Carolina where she met a track coach with whom she started dating. His name was C.J. Hunter.
C.J.Hunter decided to quit his job at the University not only because of the fact that he was in love with her, but also because he realized that she was a great athlete. The two of them got married in the fall of 1998.
They focused their training on the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics where she focused on getting gold medals with his help. C.J. Hunter was also an athlete and was going to compete there too.
The Olympics started horribly for them because C.J. had a knee injury and couldn’t perform and was later involved in a controversy because he failed drug tests before the Olympics.
He was suspended and couldn’t even coach Marion in the field because he was banned from there. The performance-enhancing nandrolone drug was found in his body in a very high concentration.
But Marion was a huge success there and she excelled at the Sydney 2000 Olympics when she gained three gold medals after she admitted that she used steroids.
Ultimately, this even hurt their marriage and they divorced in 2002. It was because Marion claimed that she was always drug-free and that his drug abuse made her look worse.
She continued playing basketball and was chosen by the Phoenix Mercury at the 2003 WNBA Draft.
In 2003 she was already dating Tim Montgomery, a world-famous sprinter and she gave birth to her first child: a son named Tim Montgomery Jr.
In 2003, Marion appeared in a movie Top Speed, directed by Greg MacGillivray.
In 2004 Olympics she was 5th in the Long jump and didn’t even qualify for 4×100 m relay finals.
In 2010 she changed teams and became a player for the Tulsa Shock. She was released from the team in 2011.
Montgomery failed to qualify to the 2004 Olympic team because of his bad results but he was also investigated about doping. He was banned from all competitions for two years.
Since two of the most important men in her life were found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs, Marion also found herself in the loop, especially because she stated that she never used steroids.
Her former husband C.J. Hunter testified that he saw her inject steroids in Sydney. She confessed herself in 2007.
She was connected to drug test controversy from high school. She missed a test in high school and was banned from competing for a period of 4 years. She later overturned this verdict in court.
In 2007 she confessed that she has taken illegal substances and was judged for a sentence of six months which she endures in Forth Worth in Texas. She was convicted for lying to the Homeland Security.
She says that she never had any trouble at the prison and that she never felt threatened or got a better treatment. Marion worked in the prison just like everybody else: baked and cleaned floors.
She came out of the prison in 2008 and a few months later she has given a huge interview to Oprah Winfrey.
She said that she also gained two-year probation and received an 800 hours sentence of community service.
If she wanted to travel somewhere in the USA she had to get permission from a probation officer.
She couldn’t vote in the next elections because she was a convicted felon.
In 2010 Marion has released a book titled “On the Right Track”. She opened up about a lot of things there and spoke about her time in prison. She has also discovered that she has spent most of her time there writing letters to friends and family.
She got married to C.J. Hunter, her coach, in 1998. They divorced in 2002.
One year after the divorce she gave birth to a son named Tim Montgomery Jr because his father’s name was Tim Montgomery, a world-class sprinter who was her boyfriend at the time.
In 2007 she got married to Obadele Thompson, a Barbadian Sprinter and they have one child together. His name is Ahmir and he was born in 2007.
In 2010 she gave birth to her first daughter and she named her Eva-Marie.
She is Marion Jones Thompson today.
Full name: Marion Lois Jones
Date of birth: October 12, 1975
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Profession: former athlete, author
Height: 1, 78 m
Weight: 68 kgs
Net Worth: $500,000