Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 18

Story by Eric.

(This is the 18th part of a long series titled, "Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones". This series depicts the life and times of a (former) woman sprinter whose lies and cover-ups about doping in sport continue even through this day.)

Eerily, muteness is the sole integer remaining from a woman named Marion Jones who had so impetuously proclaimed to the world that she had been clear of all accusatory remarks and statements made against her.

I am not going to engage in the United States Anti-Doping Agency's secret kangaroo court. I will answer questions in a public forum that will be open for the entire world to see, hear and evaluate.”[1]

Oddly enough in 2006, it was to have been through silence – a yet-to-be-named source which her legal team had not appeared to severely pursue to quash – that the curtain on Marion Jones’s act of public deception was raised. The Marion Jones drugs case was open to the entire world – whether she appreciated it or not, and questions about her performance-enhancing drugs usage began again circling faster than a tropical storm.

One year later, answers to those questions were provided, and Marion Jones was denied the credibility she had so earnestly sought in each of her previous bouts against those who had accused her.

Those questions about Marion Jones’s use and the testing of that usage in 2006 seemed better off unanswered by some, for certain persons concluded that there was a difficulty in choosing between two apparent evils: the initial “A”-sample test versus the big, bad EPO testing system, itself, which had seemingly demonstrated that it, in-and-of-itself, was a hazard to athletics health – certainly Marion Jones’s in light of what were called discrepancies between her two test results.

Most folks were to refrain from washing her hands in a forgiveness fountain near them on the issue, however, as the saying goes:

A willful fault has no excuse, and deserves no pardon.[2]

Marion Jones has – through the wilful, deliberate and calculated efforts she employed to deceive herself, her competitors, her sport and her fans – simply fallen out of grace with the public following the biggest lie told to fans in this generation.

Yet Victor Conte would like the world to forgive her following her confession to using performance-enhancing drugs.

Is Marion Jones a bad person?” Victor Conte Jr., the brains behind Balco, said last night in an interview by telephone. “No. Marion made mistakes. The pain and suffering she is about to endure in public is going to be devastating to her.[3]

Facing the greatest assault to her credibility as a bearer of truth when she discussed with Robin Roberts the question of the “B”-sample, Marion Jones would have faced the utmost of objections by a prosecuting attorney had she made the same statement in a court of law. In an effort to jog your memory, let’s look at what Marion Jones stated.

Robin Roberts: “So let me point-blank ask you again: Marion, have you ever, ever taken any type of sports performance-enhancing drug?”

Marion Jones: “Um...I have always said – and I will continue to say – that I believe in a drug-free sport, I have never ever taken a performance-enhancing drug, and I’m just quite pleased...happy...ecstatic – any adjective to describe how I feel right now in terms of the fact that um, this “B”-sample proved that, um, that I have never taken a drug, and that I haven’t taken a drug. And I hope really, Robin that this whole situation with me is used as a catalyst – a catalyst for more research in testing, a catalyst for better confidentiality samples and just to protect the athletes.”

Marion Jones treated limited evidence provided in the form of a “B”-sample test (which undeniably was charted following a positive “A”-sample test which, in the eye of the experts reviewing the information, was true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and practical experiences – with no uncertainty to the matter) as though the “B”-sample test were admissible for all purposes, namely that the evidence which was admitted for WADA’s review to serve only a limited purpose – to provide her a reprieve from one test at one specific time – was used by Marion Jones specifically as probative evidence to be used by and for her specifically without limitation.

Marion Jones also made a misleading demonstration of the facts in stating that one sample had completely exonerated her from foul play, insofar as the evidence of one test – which followed the exact and equal opposite prejudicial conclusions of its initial screening – did not support any logical inference of never having cheated that could be reasonably drawn from the “B”-sample collection. There was no plausible manner the verification made of that “B”-sample could cause one to legitimately draw such conclusions that one test, given at a time nine years after Marion Jones returned to the track to begin her professional career, could positively and undoubtedly “prove she had never taken a drug”.

In fact, Marion Jones, one year later, admitted to having taken drugs, hence nullifying her statement above and rendering herself to a state of being a liar.

At which given time that is recorded and certifiable, in what way, shape, manner and form by way of a drugs test administered in the summer of 2006 did Marion Jones – through an independent and objective third-party as part of her defence of herself – participate in a test meant, specifically, to prove that the negative results it would provide would unconditionally prove beyond imagination and reason that she had never taken a performance-enhancing drug in her lifetime?

She had never partaken in such a test, and making statements such as the one above would have been an additional lie to Federal prosecutors had she made it. Yet, Marion Jones had no qualms about lying to the general public in having used that exact statement.

Would Marion Jones be willing to state the same information under oath in a court of law and defend her statement with substantial concrete affirmation of that fact, namely that one should have faith in things not seen?

The answer here is, “no”, unless she was foolish enough to be three times bitten by the law which governs morality in her country; she had already made misstatements for which she will now have to pay dearly. She’s being removed from record books and is already being forced to face the penal system for such actions. Then again, she lied once about BALCO. She chose to lie again during another unrelated matter concerning Tim Montgomery and forged checks. There may not have been anything to prevent her from having made another attempt to circumvent the truth.

Why was such a test – if, in fact, it is supposed to exist – only administered and “passed” with the scientific process the UCLA laboratory employed following the “A”-sample positive reading and, again, re-employed for the “B”-sample reading (which did not support the original test sample following 75 days of degradation), and never taken at any time in Marion Jones’s history to be used as the sweeping statement verifier she has stated it is to have been?

Why did Marion Jones feel compelled to rely on lie detector tests to disprove statements made about her during the BALCO scandal when there was by all accounts an all-purpose, once-for-all test available to demonstrate that all such discussion surrounding her was nonsense? Or had she not known that super test existed? Or perhaps it only worked following failed “A”-sample tests?

Surely Marion Jones, who wanted to use this experience as a catalyst to help other athletes avoid being unfairly exposed as cheats during the testing procedure, could have helped those athletes find a way through a scientific method to also be unconditionally proven to never have taken drugs in their careers as well, and have made money off of her magic trick at the same time, as surely she needs to be very creative these days with respect to how she is going to change her fortunes.

Or, perhaps being obligated to her financial concerns, but having a horrendous total liquid asset value to meet those obligations in the least, it would have made total and complete sense for Marion Jones to have skipped all legal recourse which could have netted her a financial reward in the matter of Marion Jones vs. Somebody Leaked (supposedly), as the U.S. court system would surely have found a way into her pocketbook. And, consequently, the following year, the IAAF and a slew of meeting arrangers under their jurisdiction would have, too.

Or, as the will of the world would have it, she’d be better off shelving the whole idea altogether, as providing such a test would have been to make false promises to her colleagues in the sport, and surely she’d want to avoid any more spreading of falsity among her peers. She took an Olympic oath in 2000 and promised to compete fairly, yet deceived her ambitious teammates then – making her first of many false claims to friends, family and compatriots.

Recall, nonetheless with respect to the EPO test what Marion Jones stated: She’s not superhuman. Everything which happened in August 2006 weighs on a person, and it weighed too much on her. She stated that upon hearing the news about the positive drug test, she wondered, “What else can I do? Maybe I should consider just not being in the sport.”

However, did Marion Jones ever verify the day and time she was told about the adverse “A”-sample result? That particular fact was of grave importance to her argument.

The five weeks leading up to that supposed revelation consisted of legal moves to displace her from her home in North Carolina. Which of the two would you judge as having had the capability of having the greatest impact on your own lives as individuals asked to relate to the same story? Which would create a stress level so high that the fight to stay above waters, so-to-speak, would cause you to face emotional hurdles too high to bear?

Marion Jones had vehemently denied allegations of drugs use and had fought to steer clear of legally being bound to wrong-doing and transgressors of the law over a period of time; she began doing so six years and 11 months before her difficult failed EPO challenge arose, and continued another 14 months following that as well. In so doing, she had staved off reports of unlawful activity, used a considerable amount of capital to do so, and had settled a defamation of character lawsuit against a multi-millionaire – though the summary amount is unknown, as is the actual winner and loser of the case (more on that to follow) considering he was right all along.

Did fighting one more allegation when it actually did count – having not simply a contention to decry but an analytical test result against which to defend, break the emotional bank for a woman who “vigorously” pursued the truth of matters relating to her connections – or lack of them – to drug usage in the form of non-analytical evidences?

Marion Jones would have you believe that, following a long, hard road which saw her give to the sport yet be forced to defend her image – tainted and stained by associations she had made to others – she simply lacked the energy to push one more time despite the fact that her great scientific test could prove that she had never taken a drug in her lifetime. That part, ladies and gentlemen, is a fabrication.

She would also have you believe she felt victimised and traumatised – shocked – that a positive test could have been associated with her name, and this, too has been refuted as being hot air insofar as Marion Jones, herself, would later associate her name with drugs-taking (or law-breaking, be it as it may) – for the same drug, nonetheless.

Marion Jones was a person of good repute, she stated, and had always maintained that she was for a drug-free sport. Because she was a decorated Olympic athlete, the public was never to make any connections or inferences between her “mistakes” with her ex-husband or the father of her child.

Marion Jones’s having acknowledged her having been a decorated Olympic athlete by method of fraud changed that, however and changed her from being a person of good repute to one of sullen reputation and bad character. Her fevering pitches of being for a drug-free sport were meant for her competitors, not Marion Jones, herself.

[1] Jet Magazine, 2004-07-12
[2] Welsh proverb
[3] International Herald Tribune, “A tarnished Marion Jones couldn’t outrun the truth”, 2007-10-05

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