Mary Lou Retton: Compassion for Marion Jones

"I am not a lawyer," says the Olympian, "but I didn't think they needed to send her to jail"

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Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Jason DeCrow/AP

Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton has compassion for Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones, who on Jan. 11 was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to investigators about her use of performance-enhancers.

“She was such a role model. and it brings tears to my eyes right now and they are really sticking it to her,” Retton, 40, tells Access Hollywood.

Retton adds, “I am not a judge; I am not a lawyer; but I didn’t think they needed to send her to jail. I mean they stripped her of her medals and they stripped her of any Olympic dignity that she had. But, she cheated. She cheated and she needed to be punished.”

After her sentencing, Jones, 31, told Oprah Winfrey on her TV show, “I think that I absolutely should have to accept responsibility for breaking the law.”

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