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Sprinters Jones and Thompson married, says minister

Marion Jones of the U.S. smiles after winning the women's 100-metre race at the IAAF Super Grand Prix athletics meeting in Lausanne in this file photo from July 11, 2006. REUTERS/ARC/Dominic Favre

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Olympic sprinters Marion Jones and Obadele Thompson were married in a small ceremony in the rural North Carolina town of Wilson’s Mills, the minister who performed the service said.

“It was very homely, very quiet and simple,” the Rev. Vibert Tyrrel, pastor of the Union Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilson’s Mills, told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in New Bern, North Carolina.

“Nothing elaborate, just a quiet, very small wedding,” added Tyrrel, a native of the South American nation of Guyana who said he was related to 30-year-old Thompson and had known the Barbados sprinter for a long time.

His comments were the first about the February 24 ceremony, which had been rumored for days.

“Without a shadow of a doubt it was them,” Tyrrel said of American Jones, triple gold medalist from the 2000 Olympics, and Thompson, who won 100 meters bronze at the same Games.

Jones, 31, has been under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in connection with the BALCO doping scandal, but has denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Her initial urine sample tested positive for the banned performance enhancer Erythropoietin (EPO) after she won last year’s U.S. 100 meters title, however, the ‘B’ sample was negative and Jones was cleared of doping allegations.

She was previously married to American shot putter C.J. Hunter and has a three-year-old son with banned former 100 meters world record holder Tim Montgomery. Her lawyer did not return phone calls seeking comment.

A police officer in Wilson’s Mills, a small town near Raleigh, on Wednesday confirmed the wedding took place but referred enquiries to the town’s police chief, who was unavailable.