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Stabroek News

Jones took a lot from me - Lawrence
published: Thursday | October 11, 2007


Lawrence

RETIRED JAMAICAN sprinter Tayna Lawrence said she suspected American Marion Jones was using performance-enhancing drugs during and after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Lawrence said her suspicion came about after watching Jones' races at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney where Jones won a record five medals - three gold and two bronze.

She would run me down

"I was like, this girl is like superwoman. The whole world knew that I don't have a good finish but I have a good start and it didn't matter how much I would capitalise on my starts, she would always run me down and pass me as if I was standing still," said Lawrence in an interview on KLAS on Tuesday.

"There is no way that when you should be decelerating, you are accelerating - that's what made me think that something is wrong ... that's what brought the suspicion to me," said the 32-year-old who claimed bronze in the 100m final.

In the 2000 Olympic Games 100m final, Jones ran 10.75 to beat Greece's Ekaterini Thanou (11.12) and Lawrence (11.18). Jamaica's Merlene Ottey was fourth. Lawrence is now likely to be upgraded to the silver medal while Ottey should get the bronze.

A lot was taken away

Though the truth has finally come out, Lawrence has expressed disappointment and says a lot was taken away from her by a drug-cheat.

"I am just happy that it is out because I worked really hard, and to get a bronze, but there's no telling what my career could have become after that one race and for her to take away so much from everybody who was in that race, it's just hurtful," she said.

Lawrence, who was part of Jamaica's 4x100m quartet that won gold at the Athens Olympics, also disclosed the reason for her retirement.

"Injury forced me to stop," she said. "I had a bilateral stress fracture (of the foot) that just would not heal and I just gave up on it. I could not perform at the level that I wanted to, so I just decided to stop."

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