US track and field athlete. A former college basketball star, she came to international prominence in 1997 when she won the world 100-metre title in Athens. In 1998 she became the first woman to be ranked world number one in three events in the same year. At the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, she competed in five events, winning three gold medals and two bronze, but was stripped of these medals after admitting in October 2007 that she took performance-enhancing drugs before the 2000 Olympics.
World Championships gold 100 metres 1997, 1999; gold 4 × 100-metre relay 1997; gold 200 metres 1999; bronze long jump 1999
IAAF Female Athlete of the Year 1997, 1998
In October 2007, Jones admitted lying to US federal agents about her use of steroids prior to the 2000 Olympics. She had previously denied using the steroid THG from 1999, when questioned about it in 2003. In March 2008 she began a six-month jail term.
As a 15- and 16-year-old she set 100-metre world records for her age group. At college she concentrated on basketball, and played point guard for the University of North Carolina team, which won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I title in 1994. She resumed track and field training in March 1997, just five months before her World Championship success. In April 2000, she was a member of the US quartet that set a new world 4 × 200-metre relay record of 1 minute 27.46 seconds at a meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Up until the 2001 World Championships, where she finished runner-up to the Ukranian athlete Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, she had been victorious over 100 metres in 54 consecutive races – an unbeaten run lasting nearly four years.
Her success at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was slightly overshadowed by the news that her husband, US athlete C J Hunter, had tested positive for a banned substance while competing in the Olympic shot put competition. She later married Tim Montgomery, who broke the men's 100-metre world record in 2002. His record was later annulled after he also admitted to using banned substances.