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Legal issues have left Marion Jones nearly broke

LOS ANGELES -- Seven years after winning a women's record
five Olympic track and field medals and snagging
multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, Marion Jones is broke.

The sprinter is heavily in debt, fighting off court judgments
and down to a bank balance of about $2,000, according to recent
court records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

Last year a bank foreclosed on her $2.5-million mansion in an
area of Chapel Hill, N.C., where Michael Jordan was a neighbor. She
was also forced to sell two other properties, including her
mother's house, to raise money.

Jones' financial woes were revealed in a 168-page deposition in
a breach-of-contract suit she filed in Dallas against veteran track
coach Dan Pfaff. Pfaff countersued and won a judgment against Jones
for about $240,000 in unpaid training fees and legal expenses.

Legal bills have plagued Jones since 2003, when suspicions of
drug use emerged and she was linked to the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative (BALCO) after a federal raid. Jones retained attorneys
for her BALCO grand jury testimony, for negotiations with the U.S.
Anti-Doping Agency in her fight to avoid being banned from
competition, for a defamation lawsuit she filed against BALCO
founder Victor Conte, who accused her of taking
performance-enhancing drugs, and for taking on Pfaff in her
breach-of-contract suit.

Last year, a Jones urine sample tested positive for the
performance-enhancing drug EPO. Jones immediately quit a European
track tour and returned to the United States. Although she was
cleared when a backup sample tested negative, she missed at least
five major international meets, forfeiting an estimated $300,000 in
appearance and performance fees.

In her prime, Jones was one of track's first female
millionaires, typically earning between $70,000 and $80,000 a race,
plus at least another $1 million from race bonuses and endorsement
deals.

In 2000-01, she competed in 21 international events, including
the Sydney Olympics, where she won five medals -- three gold.