Disgraced American Olympic track and field fraud Marion Jones should have her gold medals taken away and all of her accomplishments should be erased from the record books.
On Friday October 5, 2007 former track great Marion Jones admitted finally admitting to what the drug tests long ago revealed; she’s a drug cheat. Jones has experienced a fall from grace that is almost unprecedented in the annals of sport, going from a wealthy American hero to a broke American fraud in the span of a few short years.
Now that Jones has pled guilty to lying to federal investigators during the course of the Balco Labs investigation, the organizing bodies of track and field have it within their power to strip her of all of her records and medals.
Let’s hope the track and field folks do what’s right and justified.
Far from totally coming clean about her role in the largest doping scandal in the history of sport, Jones took the cowards’ route – and the dummy’s route – by saying she took what she thought was flaxseed oil for almost three years before realizing she was taking illegal and unethical performance enhancing drugs. Jones, like Barry Bonds before her, has laid the blame for her use of drugs at the feet of her coach, saying he gave her Balco Labs’ “the clear” without her knowing what it was she was taking.
This is farcical, ludicrous, ridiculous and insulting. You can add any other adjective that continues along this line.
Jones has been revealed as a liar and cheat of legendary proportions with these admissions. When word first came out that she had failed a drug test for the banned blood booster EPO, Jones put on an indignant face and vigorously denied allegations that she had ever used PEDs, saying that she was shocked at the positive results. She publicly stated she never used PEDs and her lawyers released statements that gave the same message.
But now we know Jones lied then. And she’s still lying now.
Her tearful mea culpa offered on the courthouse steps was qualified in that she claimed – feigned – ignorance and blamed her coach Trevor Graham for illegally dosing her. Barry Bonds used this same gutless excuse to explain away his behavior, yet he hasn’t sued those people who illegally dosed him with illegal drugs without his consent. And just like Bonds, we won’t see Jones pursue any legal actions against Graham or anyone else who she wants to blame for her own transgressions.
By the way, Jones prospered under Graham, a coach who has been associated with illegal PEDs throughout his career.
The actions of wretches like Jones and Bonds provide us with insight into the minds of cheaters. Rather than standing up and admitting to the truth, these scoundrels hide behind half-apologies and seek to make themselves blameless in the face of the inescapable truth that they are solely to blame.
You could respect Jones at least a little bit if she stood up for herself and said that she did what she did to get the edge – whatever edge – that was necessary to be the best, to win the gold and set records. But she didn’t do this. She tried to play the victim card, but we shouldn’t buy it. All of these drug cheats are cowards in that they aren’t willing to stand up and take the responsibility for their actions, which compounds the situation.
If Jones, like Bonds, truly was dosed without consent, a major crime was committed and the authorities should be called. Jones should file a civil suit against Graham and every party that had even the most remote responsibility for her training and care. The list of potential targets is quite long.
If Jones is concerned about regaining her reputation, and maybe some of the money that she’s lost, she’ll continue the fight. If she skulks away – and she will – we’ll know that she’s nothing more than a liar and a cheat. And there’s no test that she can take to clear that up.