New York Times reporters Duff Wilson and Michael S. Schmidt report:
The former track star Marion Jones, one of the most accomplished female athletes in the world, is expected to plead guilty today to lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs, two lawyers connected with the case said yesterday. The admission would end years of denial and would likely lead to her being stripped of the record five medals she won in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Ms. Jones, 31, who won three gold and two bronze medals in 2000, would become the first athlete convicted in the cases arising out of the four-year Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative investigation that has fueled a continuing series of steroid scandals in sports. Five men who manufactured, marketed or supplied the drugs to athletes have pleaded guilty, and three of them have served time in prison.
Ms. Jones is expected to plead guilty to one count of making false statements to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and one count of making false statements to federal agents in connection with a separate check fraud case, the lawyers said.
For years, Ms. Jones has repeatedly denied using banned substances and said she passed a lie detector test administered by a former F.B.I. special agent. But she has been contradicted by other testimony to federal agents.
The former FBI special agent who administered Jones’ polygraph test is Ron Homer of Walnut Creek, California. Washington Post staff writer Amy Shipley reported on Homer’s polygraph examination of Jones in an 18 June 2004 article titled, “Jones Underwent Polygraph Test.” Excerpt:
Marion Jones passed a lie detector test in which she was asked if she had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, her attorneys announced yesterday in another public attempt to persuade the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to drop its case against the five-time Olympic medal winner.
In a test administered by certified polygraph examiner Ronald R. Homer in her attorney Joseph Burton’s San Francisco office Wednesday, Jones was determined to have truthfully answered two questions in which she denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs, Burton said during a conference call.
“The passing of the polygraph supports fully the position Marion has taken all this time, that she never, ever has used performance-enhancing drugs from anybody at any time,” Burton said. “This matter should be over if there really is any fairness in the process.”
Burton distributed a letter from Homer in which Homer stated “it is my professional opinion that Ms. Jones was truthful when answering.” Homer also stated that another certified polygraph examiner conducted a blind analysis and rendered the same opinion.
Jones responded no when asked if she had ever personally used performance-enhancing drugs, and if she was lying about any personal use of performance-enhancing drugs.
You don’t have to go to spy school or somehow believe your own lies to fool the polygraph. See AntiPolygraph.org’s free e-book The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (1 mb PDF) to find out how.