CARSON, CA. HOME DEPOT - 22May04- MO 9.86(w); Marion 7.13m, 10.99sec;

By Kevin Krolicki
CARSON, California, May 22 Reuters - Olympic champion Maurice Greene took advantage of wind-assisted conditions on Saturday to run the fastest 100 metres of the year, at the first stop on the U.S. Track and Field Golden Spike Tour.
Greene clocked a time of 9.86 seconds in California to beat 2003 world outdoor 200m silver medallist DarvisDoc'' Patton (9.96) in what had been billed as a warm-up race for the U.S. Olympic trials. Triple Olympic champion Marion Jones, trying to put an escalating doping controversy behind her, was first in the women's 100m and the long jump. Jones, who is aiming for five golds at the Athens Olympics in August, ran the 100m in 10.99 seconds to edge out Angela Daigle (11.17). She also leapt 7.13 metres to defeat Grace Upshaw (6.83m) in the long jump. Saturday's meeting was the first major U.S. track event since sprinter Kelli White admitted earlier thisweek to using banned drugs and was suspended for two years. Jones, who testified before a grand jury in the probeof the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) which is believed to be at the heart of the doping scandal swirling around American track athletes, says she hasnever used performance enhancing drugs. Her lawyer has sent a letter to the U.S. Anti-DopingAgency and the U.S. Olympic Committee accusing them ofcreating a witch-hunt’’ in their efforts to send a clean team to Athens, and has asked for a meeting with them.
On Saturday, Jones was clearly frustrated with the suspicion that has surrounded her.
Why are they trying to bring down athletes with no positive tests? That's what I want to know,'' she told reporters. So much of my life is front-page news, everything from winning gold medals to divorce to coaching changes to testifying before the grand jury. If I had a positive test, trust me, you would know.’’

In a staged act of showmanship for the crowd and thetelevision cameras, when Greene crossed the finish linehe quickly pulled off his track shoes so that a waiting aide could dash out to douse them with a fire extinguisher.
My feet were burning and we had to put the fireout,'' Greene told reporters. I’ve got a lot more fire.’’
Greene, who won gold in the 100m at the 2000 SydneyOlympics, said he may also try to qualify for the 200m in Athens.
The first thing I have to think about is the Olympictrials,'' he said. Then I can go pick up this package Athens said they have for me. But they told me they can’t mail it. I have to go over and pick it up, it’s a gold medal already engraved with my name on it,’’ he joked.