Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 55

Written by Eric.

This is the 55th submission in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won (stole) honour and earned (stole) endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud.

This story is being told in its entirety, because Marion Jones is unable to do it herself. Though parts of this story may be historical in nature, they are of essense to the sum of the whole insofar as they tell a story of a woman who is more complicit in the BALCO affairs and her own drug-taking than she has led on.

This section is titled: "Remorse Goes to Sleep in a Prosperous Period, and Wakes up in Adversity."

Facts are insubordinate things.

Facts, when married to context, have proven there is a way to convince decision-makers – who, with their verdicts, hold the power to convict or acquit – to make their judgments in agreement that those are being made beyond a reasonable doubt.

The CAS Panels which heard doping cases against Montgomery and Gaines, having had learned the facts, and having withdrawn prejudices against those facts by way of understanding the context by which those facts were established, judged on the truths which were derived from those facts, and called those truths obvious.

The BALCO Grand Jury developed knowledge of facts from concrete, measurable, consistent, and confirmable occurrences and statements made by their witnesses in order to help pin their cases on Victor Conte and company. They were also enabled, in that context, to deliver truthful information to the USADA, which led to non-Analytical adverse findings against certain athletes, Gaines and Montgomery included. Those facts were deemed accurate, thorough and complete, and they provided a clear picture of what illegal and improper events had occurred.

The USADA, as with the Grand Jury and the CAS Panel, reached agreement on the veracity of those facts – establishing the truth in contextual relationship to those facts – and took actions to make judgments based on those facts, later identified as truths.

BALCO testifiers were sworn to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God,” prior to taking the stand. Penalty for those who, under oath, lied about their involvement with BALCO, were penalised strictly, swiftly and justly.

Conte, Montgomery, Gaines, Hunter, Marion Jones and others were requested by authority of the United States to be comprehensive in their statements without misleading the Grand Jury with lies, half-truths, and misleading statements rather than the unadulterated truth. The truthfulness of their statements was crucial to the case the US government was making against the whole of BALCO, and not them as individuals.

Their statements, when weighed against the facts collected in the case, were granted as containing traits of honesty, integrity and truthfulness to a measured degree the upholders of law considered adequate of being beyond a reasonable doubt – despite the fact that Conte, Montgomery, Hunter, White and Gaines had been deemed as people who, prior to accepting to tell the truth, were categorically and unequivocally untrustworthy – people who were unable to tell the truth in the absence of the consequence of not telling the truth.

The CAS Panel and USADA, in reaching a decision to move forward with – and prosecute – athletes in the absence of analytical adverse findings, and the United States of America, in prosecuting Victor Conte, and subsequently, Trevor Graham, weighed private statements and testimony by athletes and witnesses for substance matter; considered the quantity of statements being made in order to conclude if distinct patterns of truth were developing in those testimonies; derived a perceived sense of quality of these statements against the real substance and evidence supporting and contradicting that quality; and considered the relations, places, times and situations by which those statements could support or contradict other evidences and statements in relation to the testimonies these athletes – and Conte – made. They had even considered action patterns established by those testimonies, and weighed witness affidavits against the witnesses own passion for – or against – the defendants.

Marion Jones has only now been called before the courts as a defendant.

Marion Jones had been investigated, but she was never been brought to trial for perceived crimes against the nature of the sport, namely cheating until she confessed in October 2007 to having lied to Federal investigators, but not about having knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs. No prosecuting attorney had ever cross-examined Marion Jones to verify any of her statements regarding being a clean athlete, taking and passing polygraph tests or specific and deliberate involvement with certain individuals; Marion Jones had not been legally required under any jurisdiction of any branch of the governing bodies – legal or athletic – to support her answers with concrete evidences to be judged against the soul and life of truth.

Marion Jones’s grand jury testimony, which could become public record following Judge Susan Illston's grant to unseal BALCO testimony last week, could easily have consisted of the following short interaction:

Grand Jury: “Did you, Marion Jones, knowing you are under oath, use drugs according to the information which we have been provided?”
Marion Jones: “No. I am a proponent of clean sport, and have never taken drugs.”
GJ: “But people here have stated you have taken drugs.”
MJ: “They are clearly wrong, and they have a reason to lie.”
GJ: “Evidences here suggest you have been part of a drugs conspiracy.”
MJ: “Those evidences are clearly inconclusive.”
GJ: “Others in your situation have confessed to taking drugs.”
MJ: “What situation is that?”
GJ: “Others who have physical ties to BALCO, Victor Conte and illegal drugs.”
MJ: “I’m unaware of what others have done, and Victor is not to be trusted.”
GJ: “Why do you suppose you have been called in to testify, Ms. Jones?”
MJ: “Because my name continues to be dragged through the mud and this is the perfect example which illustrates my point.”
GJ: “What point is that, Ms. Jones?”
MJ: “That I continue to be subjected to this type of questioning when I’ve never tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs.”
GJ: “Have you taken any performance-enhancing drugs for which you have not been tested?”
MJ: “No, I have never taken any performance-enhancing drugs at any time.”
GJ: “Thank you, Miss Jones, you may step down now.”

Testimony from Marion Jones would have forced the more challenging questions – the difficult ones which she has skated around and avoided – to be called to the fore and answered.

USADA had had a round-table discussion with Marion Jones, but had been unable to record – at Marion Jones’s request – information she might have stated to help them make no mistake about her claims.

Montgomery and White – along with others – have testified against themselves in concealed testimony before a Grand Jury, and their actions, when provided as evidences of truth to the USADA – based on the faithful execution of the law, including trustworthy testaments made by these individuals during the course of carrying out a lawful action in which one is compelled to participate.

Marion Jones had, according to leaked Grand Jury testimony, maintained her innocence, and had, publicly, fought to keep her name free of drug allegations. Her testimony, should it have been released to the USADA, would not contain contradictions to what she has stated either in public or in private.

Marion Jones’s testimony in-and-of-itself – according to the basis by which one is to judge the law as being effective – must be considered true and without doubt on that basis alone. She had sworn, under oath – with the risk of prosecution for failure to comply with the requirement of that rule – to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Lying would have been theft.

However, insofar as several facts are taken into consideration to establish a truth, and it is not done on the basis of testimony – or lack of it – alone, USADA, acting upon information which it had received under Grand Jury testimony, sought to keep Marion Jones from the 2004 Olympics despite her testimony. The USADA investigated Marion Jones without regard to her own testimony in the matter of her associations to BALCO.

Nonetheless, USADA, taking time to “carefully gather and review evidence before bringing any drug allegations or charges against an athlete,”[1] had not previously set in place a motion within the past two years to either charge Marion Jones or exonerate her.

Marion Jones put those wheels of justice in motion, however.

The USADA, in reviewing those evidences – considered to be tens of thousands of pages of documents including witness testimony, was taking an Aristotle-like approach to measuring the validity of claims, statements and evidences against Marion Jones.

A critical examination of the facts will one day enlighten USADA to the long list of evidences and testimonies – labelled truths – used to earlier convict Montgomery, Collins and Gaines in the absence of analytical adverse findings.

Those facts, later deemed truths in whole after consideration was provided to the individual evidences, against Marion Jones are as follows:

  1. Substance matter – being finely-combed and deliberately, faithfully and accurately reviewed – has been deemed sufficient to prove just cause for banning in three cases where similar testimony by known offenders of the law was used against those defendants. The statements of drugs usage made by those athletes, against themselves, was also deemed relevant and accurate to declare the substance of what they were stating to be truthful.
  2. The quantity of statements and evidences against those defendants increased with the number of statements taken – under oath – in front of a Grand Jury not seeking punishment against those athletes. The quantity of non-analytical adverse discoveries in favour of USADA prosecution proceedings increased with the admission of such occurrences by the athletes in their testimonies.
  3. The quality of those statements and evidences were deemed to have created high grades of likelihood sufficient to punish those defendants.
  4. The relation those athletes had with regard to Marion Jones – including her relationship to Victor Conte and Charlie Francis – was established as being greater than passing, and was established as greater than probable beyond a reasonable doubt, as other evidences introduced supported statements made by Conte and reported by Special Agent Novitzky, connected Marion Jones to Victor Conte, and is supported through each of the following testimonies’ those of Conte, Hunter and Montgomery.
  5. The places the athletes stated the events concerning Marion Jones occurred are consistent with the truth established as a whole through the quality and quantities of physical evidences discovered and documented by keepers of the law.
  6. The time that the said drug offences concerning Marion Jones are reported to have occurred are consistent with the places discovered and documented, and support the witness testimony deemed credible by proponents of the law.
  7. The situation under which this information was provided against Marion Jones was first made public by Victor Conte under no government force, and done so freely, and at his own will – and peril. The other situation by which this information was collected was by means of personal testimony by athletes who had promised to tell the truth in its wholeness, and not mislead the Grand Jury. Those commitments were acknowledged by the witnesses, the coinciding promises were accepted by the Federal Judge, and the information provided the Grand Jury was deemed credible by USADA to move forward with proceedings against Montgomery, Collins and Gaines. It opened the door to further investigate Marion Jones.
  8. The condition by which these truths have been discovered and stated as being accurate was done so under the judicial promise that any stated untruths or misleading “truths” would be grounds for perjury – deliberately lying in a courtroom proceeding when the false statement be material to the case at hand, with the testifiers of those statements being subjected to heavy fines and prison time. (Perjury by definition is defined as “having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or (2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true; is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.”).
  9. The action taken by those who have testified and have implicated Marion Jones has been one of speaking the truth in its wholeness without regard to Marion Jones, and not done so out of revenge for Marion Jones. Marion Jones’s counsel had painted a picture of Hunter being a disgruntled ex-husband who has an axe to grind with Marion Jones, and led its supporting audience to believe that Conte was a man with his back against the wall who would do and say anything to get from out of trouble with the numerous indictment counts he was facing. Gaines’ and Montgomery’s counsels, in their CAS cases, tried unsuccessfully to demonstrate that White was unable to be trusted, as she, too, was a caught cheat who had a long punishment in store for her, and whose testimony should not be taken as believable, because she had once lied about drugs usage. What they don’t state is that according to R v Dossi (1918) 13 Cr App R 158 at 162, an admission made by accused persons such as those aforementioned can constitute corroboration. Marion Jones’s team likely would have called for a warning from the judge when the above named witnesses were to be called, as warnings can – and are issued – when persons of admittedly bad character or persons who appear to be improperly motivated to give evidence.
  10. The degree of eagerness, or passion, which Hunter and Montgomery employed to reveal a previously concealed truth about Marion Jones had also been considered in part as a whole when measuring the validity of the truths. Kelli White demonstrated a deep sense of remorse over her actions, leading her to comment before Senate hearings regarding drugs in sports.

The Grand Jury had a responsibility to examine the evidences presented to them by a prosecutor and issue indictments against Conte for tax evasion. They did such in indicting Conte, as well as his cohorts. The statements and witness accounts against Victor Conte had been submitted to the Grand Jury as evidence of the financial relationships these athletes shared with Conte. Evidence was then used against Victor Conte in the form of indictments. A plea bargain severed Conte from all but two of the indictment counts.

The Grand Jury – as had the CAS – relied on both testimony and evidence, which in itself, had also been present in the form of objective, personal, incriminating testimony by athletes against themselves. Athletes’ testimony – among other evidences – had been deemed sufficient in order to indict Victor Conte. Those testimonies included times, places, and situations in which the alleged crimes Victor Conte committed were to have occurred – statements which corroborated the statements Conte made, himself to Special Agent Novitzky, in the absence of a search warrant, and voluntarily to media outlets including ABC News and ESPN. The Grand Jury considered both the quality of those statements – derived from a high quantity of sources, including Conte – and acted accordingly with the relationship these sources had to Conte in mind.

The BALCO criminal steroid distribution case Grand Jury transcripts helped ignite United States lawmakers into hearings on doping and take tougher drug testing measures in U.S. professional sports.

Much of that transcript testimony was given by crooked people – masquerading themselves as hard-working athletes – who had been revealed as cheaters; they were discovered to have used synthetic and undetectable drugs – athletes who, in the absence of any discovery of – or penalty for – rules violations, would have likely continued down those paths.

In the course of classifying truth and the veracity of claims of truth, both the CAS Panel and the Grand Jury demonstrated that previous cheaters could be – and had been – capable of telling the truth. Those truths had been accepted in whole, as half-truths could not then, nor ever be, fully whole truths.

Marion Jones appears to continue telling half-truths, which, in-and-of-themselves, must also be equal to half-lies.

Prior to her "confession" last October, Marion Jones stated that she was considering backing herself out of the sport, giving in to the pressure of the apparent unbearable weight placed on her shoulders. This last round of sparring has been devastating, she said.

In truth, she was simply saving enough energy to be able to raise the incredibly large and robust white flag which she carried with her for such an occasion as this when she would be caught as a liar and a cheat – an abuser of drugs, and an abuser of trust.

[1] San Francisco Chronicle, “Jones doping allegations puts pressure on officials”, 2004-07-24

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