JULY 22 - GEORGE BUSH has been urged not to commute the prison sentence of self-confessed drugs cheat Marion Jones (pictured).


The American, winner of a record five Olympic medals, including three gold, at the 2000 Game sin Sydney began serving a six-month sentence in March for lying about her drug use to Federal investigators but has now appealed to the United States President for a pardon.


Doug Logan, the newly appointed chief executive of USA Track & Field, has now written to Bush urging him to ignore her plea.


In a letter released to the media he wrote:


Dear President Bush,


They say you can't always believe what you read in the papers. So, when I read that Marion Jones has applied to you for a pardon or commutation of her federal conviction for making false statements to investigators, I couldn't believe it. She lied to federal agents. She took steroids. She made false statements in a bank fraud investigation - not necessarily in that order. She admitted it. And now she apparently wants to be let off.


As the new CEO of USA Track & Field, I have a moral and practical duty to make the case against her request.


With her cheating and lying, Marion Jones did everything she could to violate the principles of track and field and Olympic competition. When she came under scrutiny for doping, she taunted any who doubted her purity, talent and work ethic. Just as she had succeeded in duping us with her performances, she duped many people into giving her the benefit of the doubt.


She pointed her finger at us, and got away with it until federal investigators teamed up with USADA and finally did her in. It was a sad thing to watch, the most glorious female athlete of the 20th century in tears on courthouse steps.


Our country has long turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of our heroes. If you have athletic talent or money or fame, the law is applied much differently than if you are slow or poor or an average American trying to get by. At the same time, all sports have for far too long given the benefit of the doubt to its heroes who seem too good to be true, even when common sense indicates they are not.


To reduce Ms. Jones' sentence or pardon her would send a horrible message to young people who idolized her, reinforcing the notion that you can cheat and be entitled to get away with it. A pardon would also send the wrong message to the international community. Few things are more globally respected than the Olympic Games, and to pardon one of the biggest frauds perpetuated on the Olympic movement would be nothing less than thumbing our collective noses at the world.


In my new job as CEO of USA Track & Field, I must right the ship that Ms. Jones and other athletes nearly ran aground. I implore you, Mr. President: Please don't take the wind out of our sails.


Respectfully Yours,


Douglas G. Logan


CEO, USA Track & Field


The Justice Department typically reviews petitions for commutations and pardons and makes recommendations on whether they should be granted.


Most such petitions are denied.


Jones, who is serving her sentence in a prison in Texas, has been stripped of the five medals, she won in Sydney.


For years, she denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but last October she pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury, and was sentenced in January by a Federal judge in New York.


She admitted she had lied to investigators in 2003 when she denied knowing that she took the banned substance tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), known as "the clear," before the 2000 Olympics.


In New York, her lawyer, Henry DePippo, who is still representing Jones, said he had no comment.