Story by Eric.
(This is the fifth installment in a long series on Marion Jones, titled: "Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones").
John Scott, First Lord of Eldon, believed that it was more prudent to doubt before he decided on an issue than to expose himself to the distress after he’d decided, of doubting whether or not he had decided rightly and justly. One deduces that by doubting, we come to the root of questions, and by searching the answers to those items which one has reservations about, we discover truth.
I’ve doubted my own motivations for writing this series at several intervals during the process of information collecting and translation into tangible references to support my claims of “evidence” files against Marion Jones.
I’d speculated that if by continuing on past a few words of dissent against her I’d damage a reputation which could actually have just been a product of its own circumstance, but had not had a desired intention of ever being ruined by failure of conscious choice. I’d even thought about turning the focus of this series from a woman with five fouls to focusing on a woman who had one great chance to demonstrate through actions that her assets to the sport outweighed her liabilities.
That was almost.
I have gained no personal, narcissistic pleasure in digging up dirt on Marion Jones wherever the evidence may have presented itself; there is no glory in making an effort to put to death the facade she has lived behind for a number of years and had continued doing so despite any number of wake-up calls and warning signs to suggest that not doing so would be of great and significant harm and consequence.
I hadn’t sat eagle-eyed from a perch watching for Marion Jones’s slip-ups, rather she, by her doing – through actions of large and small note, distinguished and revealed her character and left me means and opportunity to modestly record those activities. The more I’d believed in my cause, the more it had become apparent to me that I’d been able to unveil about Marion Jones – with those appearances – deceptive as they were – sometimes giving me a false sense of purpose in writing and challenging myself to get the truth out. So I methodically set out to avoid a trap of self-deceit in simply believing to be true that which I wished to be true without genuine, material evidence.
Marion Jones partly undraped for the world the veil of deception behind which she had been living, and enabled me to collect the final piece of material evidence necessary to complete this journey.
It can burden the heart and raise the blood pressure a certain level to find and make light of fault, though that is the job and duty of a person initiating court proceedings. There is no cause to smile when one discovers one more piece of “evidence” to fit into a puzzle which had been the tumultuous life of a female sprinter, nor is there an elation one feels when the light bulb illuminates overhead and something which was once hidden and far from imagination is sitting right in front of you as clear as day – so much so that you can reach out and touch it.
I had held single, solitary pieces of evidence which both directly and indirectly exposed Marion Jones as having lied under oath, cheated with steroids and committed other acts for which she could be drawn up on charges.
However, the singular “facts” I had collected in-and-of-themselves became completely useful only in conjunction with other facts when the ideas attached to them connected proofs of a greater wrong-doing by means of fabrications and stretches of truth Marion Jones had made revealing her character – her biggest and liveliest argumentation point with those who had opposed her. Those facts jumped to life and took on an entire new form of meaning when Marion Jones unequivocally adhered to being a drugs cheat.
I had considered during a pause in this writing process to hang it up and leave Marion Jones to live her life somewhere far away from me as she has no idea who I am, and I am not tempted to believe for a split second that she has read one word of criticism by me or any other relatively unknown person discussing the subject of doping in sport. The closest we ever passed each other was at the 2001 USA Championships at Oregon’s Hayward Field near the warm-up track where she was headed for massage treatment as I was handing out a photo to a distraught 1.500m runner who had failed to qualify for the IAAF World Championships.
I considered the advice quadruple world-record holder, Michael Johnson – her fellow American, gave Marion Jones in a newspaper editorial in the late summer of 2006, and wanted to do my part to help Marion Jones spend time doing things like raising her son by keeping her out of the news and out of the court of public attention to the best of my ability. I’d only written about 30.000 words of this document, with the trade-off being that I’d learned more about BALCO after the fact than I understood during the unravelling of the steroid shop. I thought I owed it to the sport – more than to Marion Jones – to wrap it up, shut down the computer and scatter the ashes from this paper into the winds.
I reached the same critical decision again in June 2007 when Marion Jones was stated to have reached absolute zero in her financial life, with a total liquid asset value of approximately $2.000 from any and all monies she had available around the world. Information flow to verify her stated facts was not easy to obtain.
Nonetheless, the more I found in North Carolina public records of deeds and liens, the more I wanted to report – as if it were my personal responsibility to alert the real world of just how “real” Marion Jones’s life was through vehicle purchases and other direct, real and accurate information about the price of her homes and photos to match.
I felt consumed at times by thoughts about Marion Jones, as if my purpose had switched from gathering a few facts to string along into a greater vantage points of the truth – one which, as it grew in size and stature, would reveal several, more astounding ones – into a race to revelation, though no white horse would ride into the night sky above my home.
The more news which trapped itself in my feed reader, the more weary it became to continue along; one story after another in major newspapers around the world were all putting their spin on Marion Jones being broke, and I was doing my part on an internet message board to ensure that people were not left unaware in the least.
I don’t follow American politics, but I found a fitting quote that John F. Kennedy once poignantly stated in saying that the greatest enemy truth would ever face would not often be the deliberate, contrived and dishonest lie, rather the persistent, pervasive and unrealistic myth one believes.
I have dedicated my time and energy to this blog series to ensure you are able to base your opinions on reason and common sense as they pertain to the myth that has been Marion Jones’s positive historical significance to this sport – to the point you would form those with such a convincing character that you, yourselves, would be ready and willing to rely specifically upon those opinions without the slightest hesitation if you, yourselves, were on a jury and had Marion Jones’s athletics lifeline in your hands.
I’ve been very cautious as to how I’ve been able to present this picture of Marion Jones, namely because it is easy to exaggerate the extent to which a person may have “cheated” by parsing words and stringing together sequences to give the appearance of culpability.
Despite my personal conviction on the subject, my intuition of Marion Jones’s measurement of guilt didn’t take long to deepen when I caught up with my senses and reflected back on the eighth day of the ninth month of 2006. I found the opportune time to continue marching on in heavy armour when Marion Jones helped me to get over that hump by categorically and unequivocally denying she had ever taken a drug, having one test – a scientific method – prove she had never taken a drug at any point and time in her life.
I wasn’t alone in my astonishment.
Like a flickering candle in the wind which dims and whose light vanishes when a strong enough breeze brushes along, so dimmed and evaporated my resolve in just plain giving in to the temptation to leave Marion Jones alone. Rather than taking time to make one concerted effort to fully, completely and purposefully acknowledge that she was happy with the outcome of this one test as it related to her “A”- and “B”-sample specimens – and make one dramatic statement in explanation of any (or all) of her littered past, Marion Jones mocked the great and excellent capacity we have for intelligence by attempting to pull one over our heads.
I put my boxing gloves back on and re-entered the ring for the long-term battle for truth one discovery at a time – destined and purposed to turn over every quote, every action, every denial for hidden meanings which could have rebounded upon review. My intent and purpose was not to provide Marion Jones’s reputation one further black eye – she’s beaten herself up on countless previous occasions – rather to calmly count to 10 and close out the lie which has been her athletics career since she returned to the sport as a promising yet compromised adult athlete. I continued on with no malice toward Marion Jones, rather with firmness for the truth in order to turn a page forward for me and for her and once for all.
Marion Jones has reached the final battle of her embittered heavyweight career, and has not only been knocked out, but she’s been flung of the sport. Being a cast-off, she loses her credibility, her award, her adulation and her title belt, so-to-speak.
Every word written here has been for the purpose of instruction for fans which have had a difficult time understanding that cheaters can – and will – use, abuse and discard one’s faith and hope without ever one distinct thought given to what one feels, believes or thinks, nor how much of one’s hard-earned money has been saved and used to witness their concealed deception in person.
I’ve been deemed obsessed with Marion Jones, but it is an obsession I have with telling the truth behind this story which has caused me to carefully tread on despite the resistance from even a select few nearer to me rather than far. I’ve tried my absolute very best to provide you a proper balance between accuracy and fairness to Marion Jones, whilst simultaneously providing you a thorough report of her wrongdoings to consider as you cast judgment on her future and where she shall reside on your individual honour rolls.
This blog series is an announcement of true, accurate and final marks on Trevor Graham, Marion Jones and her performance-enhancing drugs, with the mightiest of those – a strong value called honesty – revealing Marion Jones’s biggest and most significant point of failure in her athletics – and ensuing personal – life.
Marion Jones has trapped truth, character and self-awareness in an abyss and it is not known when she threw away the key to her own freedom, or where the choice to compromise living between competing for the betterment of mind and body in relation to her athletics life and choosing death of integrity was made.
What is known – and shall be made available to you – are unearthed accounts of her deceptive life which will be traumatising to die-hard fans, sad to the incidental ones, and exciting to those who have an inexplicable need to live through other peoples’ failures.
Your great responsibility in using that information will be to make a sound judgment call on Marion Jones – once-and-for-all – which can free you of your suspicions, her of her untruths, and the sport of a terribly noticeable black eye – one of many which it will face during the course of this year.
She’s already been given two years away from the sport to mull things over, herself.
As you go about deciphering information and reading intently to what is written in this blog series, I ask you to recall one thing about human nature and losing freedoms and liberties after a period of being rich: When one’s fortunes have been erased and their life shattered in ruins, it’s not uncommon for one to let off sounds which echo in the darkness – sounds of agony which reverberate uncontrollably and with extreme purpose in a valley around the world – seemingly unable to relent and die down to a whisper. They are often biting, and detonate with a modulation louder than a thousand starter pistols.
Marion Jones did not completely crack under such pressure, and her new attorney fought very hard to ensure she’s never faced with that type of insurmountable wall-climbing.
Throughout the course of this blog series – which captures many quotes made by Marion Jones’s legal team – Marion Jones’s counsel will have you believe that she is an ordinary person who has found herself under the weight of USADA prosecution for the alleged offense of associating with bad company – a claim they had initially based on a non-analytical result, and later attempted to justify with a positive “A”-sample test belonging to Marion Jones.
They will have you believe that Marion Jones was the target of an unjust system of law here whereby breaches of privacy and undeserved finger-pointing had caused irreparable harm to her life, liberty, pursuit of an earning potential and, most importantly irrevocable destruction of her character and reputation – much more than her own admittance of committing two acts of perjury.
Before her announcement was made – during a time when she still clung to being innocent until “proven” guilty, they continued to portray USADA and WADA as being two Goliaths towering over her with threats of sanctions readily at their disposal whilst they shielded Marion Jones against the alleged injustice she’s portrayed as having faced through biased and prejudiced actions taken to remove her from her rightful place in the sport.
As you make your way through this series' several themes and follow the path that Marion Jones has lain, however, you’ll notice that Marion Lois Jones has been given five chances at redemption, but she has fouled out of the game which had given her life and a pursuit of happiness; five times the whistle has blown, yet this woman – who has had an undying fixation on competition – tested the referee in this sport and continued charging despite the warning signals.
There were no penetrating, deafening shrieks from Marion Jones as she discovered her life’s work – the minutes, hours, days, weeks and years of salty sweat and painful tears – had been dwindled down to a flagrant foul by a team (USADA) which was always considered an underdog and, in her book, should never have been ranked high enough to play.
A final race against the clock was initiated long ago – in 1997 – one calculated step at a time, but Marion Jones has finally severely pulled her career hamstring in the next of tragic episodes which have unfolded in even her personal life. Marion Jones has arrived at a dead stop in her own lonely, straight lane on the very stretch of cinder track she had protectively called home from 1997 to 2006 – a place meant to run literally down the straight and narrow.
Now, having found herself in the most desperate of times, Marion Jones has realised that she stands alone and continues to be antagonised by those former accusations; her character has become scuffed from a hard, physical, abrupt landing from above where, when one crashes, there is no safety net to break the fall.
To call these events a tragedy is not fair to the word, itself. Marion Jones had not suffered any misfortune or setback in previous drugs-related chapters of her life. She had, rather, made a tragic mockery of the system designed to keep people like her out of fair play, and had mocked the Greek spirit of competition, namely the harmonious development of mind and body married to the conscious ideal of perfection.
Marion Jones had pursued perfection without a conscious, and had heaped upon herself not honour or riches due victors of hard-fought clashes with the mighty, but the ridicule and apathy of fans that have now no other cheeks to turn – having been twice bitten nearly three times. As you begin to form early opinions about Marion Jones in this blog series in an attempt to put a complete composite together, do not be tempted to look away when Marion Jones, visibly downtrodden and apparently dirt poor with no tangible liquid assets to her name, attempts to find relief from the justice system and by the public – even from people like yourselves who may not have tendencies to display signs of sadness.
She is a human being, and she is a mother, but she is also a liar and a cheat.
Compassionate people may figuratively step over the railing, stoop down and attempt to help Marion Jones carry her cross, but their efforts will only speed up the march to athletics execution on a hilltop overlooking the entire world, because Marion Jones is craftily able to bear her cross and smile at you simultaneously. She will not – and has not – conceded that she took drugs beyond an absolute minimum confession into a story she played a bigger part than she has led on.
Marion Jones is not a victim of her circumstances, rather the architect of those; she ran away in shame, because she is suffering from moral, financial, legal and social separations which are the result of may very well have been a single, solitary moment in her life when a decision was made to choose between right and wrong.
There is now a collective hand among the peoples prodding Marion Jones, and those people hope she will squirm belly down snake-like to the closest exit from this gig from which she has stolen, dishonoured, and disrupted entirely too long.
Marion Jones may certainly have hoped she could have ridden out on a lightning bolt to the place of the forgotten, but, having wilfully, consciously and explicitly lied, manipulated and cheated her way to stardom, such a wish could not be granted; she is to forever live in infamy, but first she is to live in jail.
Impartial zealots – of which I am not – will push, poke and swat at Marion Jones until she coils up in a corner, and will make it their life missions – their callings – to never let the snake out of the corner back into the wilderness has become track and field, but Marion Jones will never simply disappear – both for the betterment and detriment of the sport.
Marion Jones has lived in a complicated world where threats, dominance and utter lies surrounded the four corners of her once impenetrable castle. No elaborate scheme has ensnared her by means of failed drugs tests, nor has any contrite self-confession professing any previous guilt in-and-of-themselves foiled her. Marion Jones’s demise was instigated by her own greed and inability to strive for pursuits in proportion to her ability to achieve them – both personally and financially, and it was brought full circle by her inability to tell the truth about it.
Her crash to the track – a tear to her credibility, and, ultimately, her career – was delivered partly by way of those who were there during the deliberate delays in drugs testing – those who know, have seen and bear witness to the actions Marion Jones has denied ever engaging in, those who have been brave enough to witness on behalf of their own conscious (and, being far removed from hero-worship, likely escape penile punishment).
Those who will have continued to sit on the fence sans Marion Jones’s confession – despite the evidences presented in this series – have been forewarned.
Marion Jones has become detached from her source of sustenance – a career in the limelight, and the discomfort caused her – will at times seem unbearable for one person to carry alone, though Marion Jones will, in what appears to be a life-long quest to defy the realms of possibility, fight against the inevitable.
She has invariably shrieked and cried out for aid, and she wished to be transported to safety where those skilful in lawyer talk could attempt to have her put back together again (and out of prison) following years of abusing a system with the explicit purpose of being deceptive and undetectable in the process. They would fail, as the United States District Judge overseeing this case had an inkling of an idea Marion Jones was not as forthcoming as she stated regarding her connection to drugs-taking.
The attorneys she hired will also fail, consequently, in this series to patch a shredded reputation undone by its own hand, and they will blame the initial failures on unfair conduct by questionable men with some kind of grudge against their client. They will appeal to your sympathies, stating that Marion Jones was one of the most decorated athletes in USA track and field history, and had been the victim of vicious attack on her character. They will blame it on the media for covering the dark sides of the sport, and creating a no-win situation for a “clean” athlete to persevere under undue circumstances – though it has often been through the media that they will have revealed their “discoveries” of truth and fallacies in accusations.
Some fans will speak out, and close family to Marion Jones will rush to offer relief. They will all speak loudly of this fallen “role model”, and urge those who have offered information against their fallen star to retract their injurious words and statements, and they will ask that blogs like this one never make it on to an internet server connecting to you. You will hear it reverberate within these pages and in the world press that Marion Jones has suffered enough by having sat in prison and having lost her Olympic medals, her fame, her prestige and her achievements – as though she had never existed.
Marion Jones may have taken the first step in cleansing the world of this nonsense already established as non-realistic and non-penalising through BALCO, by being forced to take a step to defend in court that which was written and stated as being fact, not fiction.
The fictional part of this story which is her life, however, began when Marion Jones believed she could get away with fleecing the world for an extended period of time, brushing with danger and assuming the hand that fed her would never whither from arthritis from its continuous efforts to extend and withdraw its support for her. The fiction which has been Marion Jones’s career is the speed and pace at which she wants people to believe she rapidly rose from scratch to goal on talent and hunger alone. The only fiction of this blog series will come in the form of statements Marion Jones makes to both support and consequently disdain those in her circle of trust who spoke out in discovery findings about her performance-enhancing drugs taking.
There was nothing profound or complicated about their revelations, simply words of truth which were accepted as fact, not fiction.
It is in part due to the bravery and honesty of those who dared to speak out that I write this story – for people who demonstrated courage for their intrepidity. I have compassion for their own state of affairs arising as a result of this straightforwardness, and have forgiveness for their previous offenses against the moral and ethical codes which govern how we live and interact with one another. I laud these few people who exhibit honesty in discussing their contributions to enable a betterment of this sport – actions, which, having been taken, have uncovered truth where other athletes, coaches and people in the know had, by their own shortcomings, failed to take action.
Whereas others have had opportunity to speak in the absence of court protection and have chosen to remain silent, a few brave have come forth under fire, under criticism and under scrutiny. Fearless and unrelenting truth-telling in the face of the repercussions is what brings these witnesses respect, though their previous actions deserve zero commendation.
Make no mistake about this: revelation of hidden, dark, undisclosed and confidential information reserved for Marion Jones to live and take to her athletics grave will carry forward with it in this blog series backlash, lawyer talk, lawsuits and attempts to again discredit anyone who steps forward to testify against her.
And it will all prove to be for naught in her case.
It is, therefore, in light of this, that bravery has been granted, nobility achieved, and behaviours of cheating will be doomed to a hidden place where the key shall not be found.
Marion Jones is on trial in this court of public opinion, yet this series is not directed at mauling and burying Marion Jones under the lies which she has told, nor is it about revelling in the justice which was served by the federal government of the United States of America.
This blog series has been written to investigate truth where it has been told, to expose untruths where they have been masked and continue buried, and to better equip your senses and ability to reason to adequately judge performances against those of mankind who have previously walked, jumped, thrown and sprinted ahead of the likes of Marion Jones or have been trained by a man completely different in purpose and deed than Trevor Graham.
This blog series resembles a game of truth with victors and losers in this contest – with no runner-up prize awarded the non-winner. Those who will be adorned are those who have made credible efforts to clean up the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs. Those who will be buried will be those who glamorize and promote doping – people just like Marion Jones and Graham.
Marion Jones used nine lives over a span of six years defending her credibility, reputation and character. She had previously gotten wet, and she scratched and clawed her way through to a place of safety – having then found haven near the top of the mountain she called home.
All of that is gone now.
Cats, with their stubborn willingness to overcome adversity, have been said to have nine lives. Marion Jones will at times in this series be likened to a cat, with near-athletics death experiences reducing her shelf-life by one as she crosses on forward across a road filled with fast-driving cars which don’t tend to swerve for small critters in the dark.
This turn of events has occurred to encourage Marion Jones to go beyond the expected and live a 10th life, but one completely outside of the ability to influence performance, records, statistics, attitudes and fans in this sport. Fans would like this to be forever. I would like you to agree to make this a reality as well insofar as Marion Jones, even a contrite version of her, has not been able to tell the truth despite dire and significant consequence. It has been a result of the aforementioned that Marion Jones is shackled to a regrettable past and unable to divulge more than she has previously offered up.
Whether it’s here or out yonder, Marion Jones continued to make headline news in some shape, manner or form in 2007 – save IAAF World Championships in Osaka. She was kind enough to “confess” after the season, as further reports of her demise would have continued to drag the sport – which doesn’t possess nine lives for a dying public – to a fight for positive publicity and new-generation popularity.
Graham’s trial, held a month before the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials, could not have been more untimely.
As you query this series in search of answers to whatever your specific uncertainty about Marion Jones may yield herein, ask yourself one question as you turn each page on what Marion Jones had stated in her defence of any and all connections to drug-takers and drug-taking: is there plausible deniability demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt which she exercised in her own defence?