Marion Jones has found out that no matter how fast you are, you cannot run away from the truth.
In hardly a surprise for many people, USA Sprinter Marion Jones admitted yesterday that she was a drug cheat. She had taken the designer steroid THG, which was also known as “the clear” by the BALCO laboratory.
She had vehemently denied any wrongdoing for a long time, under mounting evidence. I don’t know how she had remained clear for so long. Even the head of Balco, Victor Conte, who has repeatedly and publicly accused Jones of using drugs, was her personal “nutritionist” at the Sydney Olympics.
Now and rightly so her reputation is in tatters, and she is apparently broke. She will lose many of her records and the medals she won at the Sydney Olympic Games. I have no sympathy for her. It makes me angry that I have to give these athletes the benefit of the doubt, when all the anecdotal evidence and rumours paint a dirty picture, but unfortunately, the drug tests have failed to find any evidence, and they deny all the allegations.
It makes me think of the saying that “When something is too good to be true, it probably is”. When I watched her sprint away from the rest of the field in the 2000 Sydney Olympics 100 metre sprint, my first thought was that in such a competitive event that someone cannot be that much better than the next best sprinter in the world. And now it is shown that no one was, naturally.
Even the second placegetter in that race has subsequently been done for drugs, and who knows which other athletes in that field also had artificial enhancement. As I have said before, it is hard to enjoy watching some sports when my first thought is always whether the winner had taken drugs to get there. This applies at the least to cycling, track and field, and weight-lifting.