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Test negative; Jones cleared of doping

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 7, 2006


The backup drug test for sprinter Marion Jones came back negative, clearing the five-time Olympic medalist of doping allegations that have dogged her for the past month, her attorneys said Wednesday night.

"I am absolutely ecstatic," Jones said in a statement released by her lawyers. "I have always maintained that I have never ever taken performance enhancing drugs, and I am pleased that a scientific process has now demonstrated that fact."

Jones tested positive for the banned endurance enhancer EPO on June 23. She withdrew from a meet in Switzerland hours before reports of the test result were revealed. But the backup test, conducted at the same UCLA lab using the same sample, was negative.

BOXING

Baldomir gets Mayweather

Carlos Baldomir, who hasn't lost a fight in nearly 10 years, will take on undefeated Floyd Mayweather for the WBC welterweight title Nov. 4 at Mandalay Casino in Las Vegas. Baldomir (43-9-6, 13 knockouts) upset Zab Judah in a 12-round decision for the WBC title in January and stopped Arturo Gatti on July 22.

SOCCER

French avenge loss to Italy

Two months after losing the World Cup final to Italy, France beat the Italians 3-1 in a European Championship qualifier on Sidney Govou's two goals and one by Thierry Henry. The animosity flowed from French fans toward Italy even before the match began at Saint-Denis. In the World Cup final, France star Zinedine Zidane was ejected for a head-butt to the chest of Italy's Marco Materazzi in extra time, and Italy won on penalty kicks.

ET CETERA

FIGURE SKATING: Michelle Kwan is skipping the upcoming season and attending the University of Denver as a full-time student. She plans to major in political science with a minor in international studies. She said she will skate in exhibitions, and may return to competition at some point.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Tennessee starting center Major Wingate, suspended this summer for violating unspecified team rules and university policy, was dismissed from the team. The school would not say why. ... Nate Minnoy, who missed 15 games with a knee injury last season after starting the first 12 games as a freshman, has left Purdue.

CYCLING: Egoi Martinez of Spain won the 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, covering the 108-mile route from Torrelavega to Burgos in 4 hours, 20 minutes, 32 seconds. Alejandro Valverde of Spain remained the overall leader.

TENNIS: Kim Clijsters will miss the Fed Cup final against Italy on Sept. 16-17 because of a lingering wrist injury.