Directed by Bryan Storkel, Netflix’s ‘Untold: Hall of Shame’ is a sports documentary movie that sheds light on the details of the doping scandal involving the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO). Given the scale of the case, it is no wonder that the film talks about several well-known athletes, and one of the most discussed names was that of Marion Jones-Thompson, who is more popularly known as Marion Jones, a former Olympic athlete who soon had to face hard-hitting questions regarding her previously established records.
Who is Marion Jones?
Daughter to George Jones and Marion, Marion Jones-Thompson was born on October 12, 1975, in Los Angeles, California. Due to her mother hailing from Belize, the USA-born track runner has dual citizenship for both countries. During her younger years, Marion developed a close bond with Ira Toler, her stepfather, whom her mother had married around three years after separating from her father. Toler’s unexpected death in 1987 significantly impacted Marion, whom he cared for as a stay-at-home father.
Marion channeled her grief into sports, following in the footsteps of her older half-brother Albert Kelly Toler. It was not long before she started making a name for herself with her prowess on the track. Following her schooling, she graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1997 and soon married shot putter CJ Hunter on October 3, 1998. She went on to dominate the 2000 Olympics that were held in Sydney, Australia, by winning three gold and two bronze medals.
However, while Marion was competing in different events at the 2000 games, Hunter’s doping results showed that he had tested positive for a steroid called Nandrolone, which he vehemently denied. But alas, according to her autobiography, these allegations were enough to spark a breakdown of their marriage, leading Marion and Hunter to get divorced in 2002.
Due to Marion’s past links to various doping scandals and the fact her coach for two years was Trevor Graham, a trainer apparently revealed to have given several athletes Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), or “The Clear,” Marion’s own credibility started coming into question. Regardless, during the investigations of the BALCO scandal, she remained firm about not having taken any steroids. Yet, this did not mean she was able to shrug off the suspicions that had started to plague her every step.
On October 5, 2007, Marion confessed that she had lied to federal agents under oath and hence committed perjury. She actually pleaded guilty at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Publically, Marion admitted to having taken steroids before the 2000 Olympics. She stated that she had actually taken steroids until 2002 while under the tutelage of Graham. However, during the BALCO investigation, she claimed she had used what she thought was a flaxseed oil supplement.
Where is Marion Jones Now?
Due to her actions pertaining to perjury, Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in federal prison on January 11, 2008. Her sentence began on March 7, 2008, and she was released on September 5, 2008. Additionally, all of Marion’s achievements after September 1, 2000, were stripped by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and she was given a two-year ban, though she then retired in October 2007. This included her five medals (3 gold and 2 bronze) from the 2000 Olympics, which the International Olympic Committee formally rescinded, and she returned them sometime before October 8, 2007.
Interestingly, another thing Marion admitted to lying about under oath was her knowledge regarding a check-counterfeiting scheme that had involved her former boyfriend, Timothy “Tim” Montgomery. As of writing, she is happily married to Obadele Thompson. The two tied the knot on February 24, 2007, and welcomed their first child, Ahmir Thompson, into this world on June 2007. Their daughter Eva-Marie Thompson was born on June 28, 2009. Additionally, Marion is also mother to Tim Montgomery Jr, who was born on June 28, 2003.
From November 2009 to July 2011, Marion was in association with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), starting her time with San Antonio Silver Stars before moving on to Tulsa Shock. In 2010, the former athlete published a book titled ‘On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed,’ which gives her an account of everything that had taken place in her life until that point.
However, today, Marion works as a Personal Trainer and National Recruiter and remains physically active. She offers virtual workout lessons to those interested and has a training group on Facebook. More than anything, she seems delighted to be there to support her children and other loved ones during the significant events in their lives. We wish Marion and those around her the best and hope that they live happy and fulfilling lives.