The three-time Olympic gold medalist pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators when she denied using performance-enhancing drugs, and announced her retirement after the hearing. Jones also pleaded guilty to a second count of lying to investigators about her association with a check-fraud scheme. Outside the U.S. District Court, Jones broke down in tears as she apologized for her actions, saying she understands she has disappointed her friends, family and supporters. “It’s with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust,” Jones said, pausing frequently to regain her composure while her mother stood behind her, a supportive hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “I have been dishonest, and you have the right to be angry with me. I have let (my family) down. I have let my country down, and I have let myself down,” she said. “I recognize that by saying I’m deeply sorry, it might not be enough and sufficient to address the pain and hurt that I’ve caused you. “Therefore, I want to ask for your forgiveness for my actions, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” JURISPRUDENCE: Sprint star admits to lies in court and retires. By Jim Fitzgerald THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – For years, Marion Jones angrily denied using steroids. On Friday, she admitted it was all a lie. Jones and her mother embraced afterward, the elder Jones telling her daughter, “Good job.” The two then climbed into a black limousine with one of Jones’ attorneys and drove away without taking questions. “It’s bittersweet,” said Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. “Any time a potential American hero admits to cheating us sports fans, people who watch Olympic games, it’s bittersweet.” Friday marked a stunning fall from grace for the 31-year-old Jones, once the most celebrated female athlete in the world. She captivated the country with the audacious goal of winning five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics. Though she fell short – only three of her five medals were gold, the other two bronze – her winsome smile and charming personality made her a star. Seven years later, she is broke, her reputation is ruined and she is looking at prison time. Jones is the biggest name to be brought down so far in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative scandal. But home run king Barry Bonds also has been linked to BALCO, and a grand jury is still investigating whether he lied to federal investigators. Bonds denied ever knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. In testimony before a grand jury in 2003, Bonds said he believed a clear substance and a cream given to him by his trainer were flaxseed oil and an arthritis balm. In court, Jones, seated at the defense table and speaking in a clear voice through a microphone, said she lied to a federal investigator in November 2003 when he asked if she had used performance-enhancing drugs. “I answered that I had not. This was a lie, your honor,” she said. Jones said she took steroids from September 2000 to July 2001 and said she was told by her then-coach Trevor Graham that she was taking flaxseed oil when it was actually “the clear.” That’s a performance-enhancing drug linked to BALCO, the lab at the center of the steroids scandal in professional sports.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!