Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 58

Written by Eric.

This is the 58th 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 is the final entry of a section titled: "Remorse Goes to Sleep in a Prosperous Period, and Wakes up in Adversity."

In the event that a criminal proceedings Marion Jones vs. Victor Conte testimony case was granted, Marion Jones would have been responsible for submitting evidences that the truths Victor Conte had been granted as being valid were indeed false, or that his federal testimony was coerced. Victor Conte, though found to be a criminal, had made statements which still might be true. His being criminal, doesn't make his statements wrong. In fact, his having been a criminal did not make statements about Marion Jones – those of her being a drug cheat – wrong. They were, in fact, correct.

Marion Jones’s attorneys, in an attempt to discredit Conte by comparing his being an accused person with Marion Jones being an accomplished athlete, committed to the same fallacy.

Marion has steadfastly maintained her position throughout - she has never, ever used performance-enhancing drugs,” Nicholls said Friday. “Victor Conte is a man facing a 42-count federal indictment, while Marion Jones is one of America's most decorated female athletes. Mr. Conte's statements have been wildly contradictory.

Mr. Conte chose to make unsubstantiated allegations on television, while Marion Jones demanded to take, and then passed, a lie detector examination. Mr. Conte is simply not credible. We challenge him to submit to the same lie detector procedure that Marion Jones passed. [1]

Marion Jones, though being a decorated athlete, had made statements which may not have been true, and, which in fact, have been proven to not have been true. Her being an accomplished athlete doesn't make her statements right, and her having been an accomplished athlete was the result of performances which were improperly enhanced for which her attorneys made incorrect statements in support of her.

Her legal counsel attempted to have listeners and readers concede a point in their favour and immediately disregarded Conte as a disgraceful figure by naming a specific number of indictment counts which Conte was facing – all of which two were absolved. Having no control over Conte’s liability to the criminal court, they made an ad hominem attack against his credibility and raised a point of regarding polygraph tests and submissions to them.

Taking a lie detector test neither proves nor disproves one’s innocence, whether its relation is to Marion Jones’s association to innocence or to Victor Conte’s link to impropriety.

Polygraph tests were stated to have “proved” that Marion Jones was wrongfully accused by Conte, but they did not reveal the deception behind that which Marion Jones was standing in direct correlation to that which Conte had stated – that to which she admitted.

Polygraph tests are inadmissible as evidence California criminal court proceedings – the state where the lawsuit was filed – unless under special circumstances both parties have agreed to their admissibility before the examination is given, under terms of a stipulation. California does not have a Polygraph Licensing Board. Polygraphs are also impermissible in many other states in the USA insofar as the opportunity exists for operator incompetence and a lack of peer recognition.

The civil and criminal courts had the authority and duty of upholders of the law to establish concerning Conte the fact of truthfulness and lying. The criminal did not conclude that he was a liar, and the civil court never had the case conclude before it. The court of record – when weighing the testimony Victor Conte provided a Federal agent against the evidence collected in a raid and subsequent search – did not label Victor Conte a liar.

Conte’s testimony would have shed a very bright spotlight on what the calendar designations supposedly attributed to Marion Jones meant. He would have been able to reflect the coding used to note the schedule on which performance-enhancing drugs were to be used – coding which, coincidentally, appeared in a file with Marion Jones’s name written on it, and one with her particular 2001 season schedule written on the calendar.

Collins also had a file with her name labelled on it at the BALCO site which included a calendar – as has been alleged in Marion Jones’s case – which had Collins’s initials on each page, and contained the letters “L” for “THG”, “C” for “the Cream” and “E” for “EPO” on different dates which were consistent with calendars sanctioned athletes had copies of. Conte kept the original calendars. A copy of those designations was provided earlier in this book.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the calendar contained the following information:

Meanwhile, the April 22 reference to “MT SAC” likely refers to Southern California's Mount San Antonio Relays track meet. In 2001, Jones won the 300-meter race there, easily beating sprinter Kelli White, another BALCO customer who last month admitted doping and agreed to the two-year ban. The May 12 "Princeton Meet" was New Jersey's Princeton Invitational, where Jones won the 100 meters.

The June 9 reference to “Palo Alto” marks the U.S. Open, where she won the 200-meter race. That notation also includes "I-3 C-2 After G Meet," suggesting the possible use of multiple banned substances on race day. International races in which Jones competed in 2001 also are referenced: the Rome Golden Gala, the Paris Grand Prix, and the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway. [2]

Conte’s own testimony was accepted and used as part of evidence against him, though all but two indictments against him was reduced.

(Conte would eventually state in an e-mail message to the Chicago Tribune’s Philip Hersh dated 2008-October-29 that he provided Marion Jones with a specific drug:

“I cannot believe Marion Jones continues to lie. Enough is enough. She knowingly used performance enhancing drugs and has already been to prison for lying about it in the first place.

“In April 2001, during the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, California, I sat down with Marion Jones in my hotel room at the Embassy Suites in West Covina. I showed her something I had brought with me called a Novopen. It was a cartridge injector pen that contained 45 units of Norditropin growth hormone. The injector contained enough liquid for ten injections.

“I instructed her how to inject herself with 4.5 units of growth hormone and told her to follow the same protocol three times per week. I taught her to change the needle, dial up the dosage, disperse any air in the chamber, and inject the drug. When she left my room, she took the Novopen with her so she could administer her own injections thereafter.”[3]

Police had probable cause to search Marion Jones’s home based on the sum total of all the layers of information received from the Conte testimony and were able to discern as trained officers of the law. Information contained therein was not deemed inconclusive nor was it deemed to be untrustworthy. They had justification to search her home based on the known facts and circumstances of a reasonably trustworthy nature to believe a crime was being committed. What we do conclusively know is that Marion Jones had not left a paper trail of any kind until the Pfaff lawsuit arose; it is not unreasonable to believe that Marion Jones either did not engage in unlawful activity on her premises or did not connect herself to such occurrences.

If, having acted on information it deemed trustworthy and legally collected under the rights afforded to Conte, the law saw fit to move on reasonable suspicion and cause, is the testimony Conte provided to be considered false and untrustworthy because Marion Jones’s attorneys state that it should be?

As it was to be, the remarkable answer is, “no”.

Moreover, as earlier discussed, Conte had a legal reprieve which he exercised on his own behalf to abstain from making comments or confessions which would have asserted his involvement in criminal activities – a case which concurrently was underway at the time Marion Jones’s attorneys made the above comments. Conte’s refusal to self-incriminate is by no legal means a test of credibility, or to be interpreted as a lack thereof; the logic used here is incorrect.

Ultimately, had Marion Jones called into question Conte’s disposition as a law-abiding citizen – and subjected Conte to a test of character – she would also have travelled down a slippery slope in also subjecting herself to a rebuttal and cross-examination which would have shed significant light on her reputation and moral fibre. It would appear in the light of all circumstances surrounding Marion Jones’s private and public life, Conte could discredit the believability of Marion Jones's factual testimony by showing that it didn’t jive with common sense and/or with what others not named Victor Conte had said.

Further, once again, could Marion Jones’s attorneys prove that the events Victor Conte would have described under oath did, in fact, not take place as stated, and prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Conte fabricated his testimony – so much so that, instead of settling one lawsuit Conte should be sued again for spreading false rumours and accusations following her “A”-sample testing?

The simple answer is, “no”.

Would they have had evidences which, beyond a reasonable doubt, clearly and justifiably demonstrated evidence that Conte had made his stories up?

Again, the resounding answer is, “no”. Conversely, Marion Jones’s evidence against herself – a letter to family and friends – supports the fact that Conte was the mastermind behind BALCO, and that she used his products. She never touched further on the Conte topic in her revelation to the world.

In the event there were call for a Marion Jones vs. Charlie Francis association case, Marion Jones would have been compelled to prove and demonstrate that she had no prior knowledge of Charlie Francis’ background and pro-drug stance, despite the fact that Charlie Francis specifically stated that Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones searched him out knowing his background.

Moreover, she would be duty-bound to prove that the principle of being a proponent of a drug-free sport, in-and-of-itself, greatly outweighed the action of associating with Francis, a man whose proponent position of drugs and direct dealing with Montgomery was neither misunderstood nor concealed – despite his statement of knowing what work they were prepared to do, and that workload not fitting with taking drugs.

Marion Jones would also have to demonstrate in no uncertain terms how she jumped ship from Vancouver-based Derek Hansen and landed in the Toronto area at the Charlie Francis camp along side of Tim Montgomery, who had already established direct contact with Francis through “project world record” – especially considering how geographically implausible it would be to mix the two locations.

In such an event, depositions would have been taken of both sides, with specific attention paid to the veracity and consistency of statements made by either party. Both parties would have been required to state what they knew, when, and would have had that information preserved for later use.

Statements which Francis made – namely that Marion Jones sought him despite his reputation, would be diametrically opposed to factual statements made by Marion Jones, and would be seen as a direct contradiction in statements which Marion Jones had made. This contradiction would come under heavy fire in a cross-examination by Francis’s legal counsel in this hypothetical exercise.

Which party would have had the burden of proof of demonstrating the other one was wrong? Or, had Francis been right, would Marion Jones have stated that his statements were involuntarily coerced?

[1] ESPN.com, “Jones: Conte’s allegations ‘are not true’”, 2004-12-04
[2] San Francisco Chronicle, “Sprinter’s ties to lab owner at issue”, 2004-06-01
[3] Newsblogs.chicagotribune.com, “Conte: “I cannot believe Marion continues to lie,”” 2008-10-29

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