Athletics: Jones comes second on and off the track
By Tom Knight
Further indignity was heaped upon Marion Jones when she was ordered out of her official car after her defeat in the Milan Grand Prix on Wednesday night.
Jones was not in the best of humour after her slowest 100 metres performance for 11 years and verbally lashed out at the meeting official assigned to drive her from the stadium to the athletes’ hotel.
Barbara Baraldi, an unpaid volunteer who had been Jones’s chauffeur and interpreter for the previous two days, made the mistake of nudging the athlete as the pair made their way from the track.
Jones was overheard to say to Baraldi: “You don’t know me well enough to touch me.”
When Jones then sat in the passenger seat of her official, air-conditioned car, she talked on her mobile phone, refusing a request to apologise for her outburst.
Baraldi ordered Jones out of the car and suggested she take the athletes’ bus instead.
There was more bad news yesterday for Jones regarding her arrangement to run in the Rome Golden League event on July 8.
Unimpressed by Jones’s 11.67sec in Milan, for which she was paid £25,000, officials at the Italian federation told her that she could compete in Rome only if she donated her appearance fee to charity.
Meanwhile, Darren Campbell, who was fifth in the 100m in Milan, has withdrawn from Sunday’s international match against the United States and Russia in Glasgow. It means that Britain will be unable to field their Olympic gold medal-winning 4 x 100m team.
Campbell said: "The Americans are coming here aiming to beat us and the gold medal team haven’t practised. “I’m the old campaigner. Let the youngsters have their turn.”