Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-9

Story by Eric.

This is the ninth segment in a long series titled, "Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones".

I left you, the reader, off last time with a couple of important questions to ponder, namely:
How did she (Marion Jones) put together a nearly undefeated season in 1998 – one which stretched her 36 competitions thin between the first and the final? If Graham, who was her coach, didn’t begin doping her until 2000, how did Marion Jones, who maintains to have not been doped, run the fifth-fastest 100m time in the history of the world and take home another world championship the preceding year in what was another very long and taxing series of trials, qualifications and finals?

There are many who state that Marion Jones was a gifted high school athlete who simply took a few years away from serious competition to focus on basketball; that, upon her return to the track, she simply needed to get re-tooled and sharpened to find her previous speed.

If one were to ask Marion Jones, this could all be neatly explained by her, I’m sure, but what she will never discuss with you, with me or even with authorities is that she failed an EPO test in June 2006 following a season in 2005 which was the worse of her career – slower and more humbling than her freshman high school days at Rio Mesa, when she was 14-years-old.

Her attorneys, in her defence – quoted and captured in this blog series, put the same spin on adverse matters concerning Marion Jones, citing issues with the test, itself. What they will not state to you is the duration of time between testing the “A”-sample and “B”-sample provided in Indianapolis, nor of those implications. What they will also not discuss is that their client was not fit in 2005, yet was somehow able to withstand the stresses of multiple rounds on multiple days in order to make post-season championship teams, which is one very mitigating factor in one’s taking EPO.

EPO, according to Victor Conte, increases the red blood cell count and enhances oxygen uptake and utilization. EPO provides a big advantage to sprinters, because it enables them to do more track repetitions and obtain a much deeper training load during the off season. EPO, states Conte, becomes undetectable about 72 hours after subcutaneous injection (stomach) and only 24 hours after intravenous injection.

In direct relation to that test failure, Marion Jones lied to the public about the circumstances surrounding the leaking of that test. That sequence of events was crafted in such a way as to have Marion Jones’s financial difficulties, namely foreclosure for breaking a promise to pay her mortgage – a result of “maintaining the lifestyle” – not become exposed to the general public. Marion Jones lied to the financial institution which granted her favour in loaning her more than two million dollars with a promise to repay them in selected, manageable instalments – something known to you and I as a mortgage, and she lied to you to cover up that lie as well.

Marion Jones is not a changed woman who is attempting to right the wrongs, ladies and gentlemen. She did, rather, spend the final days of freedom living in a cave in her own wilderness, though she did make a trip to a big city in October 2007 to talk a little bit of track, a little bit about lies, and to charge the atmosphere by crying on the small amount of electricity she was attempting to create with a half-remorseful story about finding God, wanting to live in peace and having made mistakes from which others could learn.

What many learned that day is questionable – a point Michael Johnson brought up following Marion Jones’s sentencing:

But I question if Marion is really remorseful for anything other than having been caught and the consequences she now has to suffer...She stood before us all and accused USADA of conducting a kangaroo court in regards to their investigation of her. Marion only came clean about the steroid use as part of a plea deal in hopes of having her sentence on the perjury charges reduced.”

Folks heard what she said, saw what she did, but then they went home back to whatever it was they were up to on a Friday evening before “CNN” and “Fox News” carried the torch to the finish line in case anyone hadn’t become aware that Marion Jones was a self-confessed drugs cheat. The news came suddenly, but not surprisingly, and the shock value among people on the ground was hardly noticeable once the missile she shot off four years earlier had landed on an unintended trajectory – straight on her own head.

The brief statement Marion Jones passed off as contrition to please the court was meant to demonstrate to the authorities – folks who don’t know her entire story – that she had changed her ways and was not quite the scoundrel she had been made out to be by wicked old men who’d either divorced her, coerced her or just plan used her as a laboratory rat without her permission, though part of her sentencing is dependent on the degree of her remorse and regret.

Somewhere in the text of her message was something about letting people down and asking for her forgiveness from God Almighty.

Her postal code changed when the delivery truck, Felons on Wheels, made its stop in a neighbourhood far away and gave those on board a free pass to a place hardly known as paradise – but known to repeat offenders on board to be a stop somewhere between Soddom and Gemorrah.

Over the many years of Marion Jones’s professional life, as an athlete in the sport of track and field, many of Marion Jones’s fans – apologists – had begun to be fiercely disloyal and unsupportive towards her. Yet she treated knowledge and understanding – tantamount to their capacity to make sense of this entire mess – through the text of her message as though those gifts belonged in a postal code far beyond these same people’s collective reach – though some of them were doctors, lawyers and teachers of education to name a few.

Marion Jones stated that her reason for retiring from track and field was for her having made several mistakes. Being Marion Jones doesn’t exclude her from making them, and one can be forgiven for certain offenses committed against the body as well as hostile to the sport. Those mistakes were deemed to have impacted her fans, USATF and her family – though IAAF, a component of her fame and Nike, a part of her great fortune, were conveniently left out in the dark. The fault she committed, according to her statement, was in having lied to federal authorities – folks who don’t like being taken for a ride. She wanted the lesson of having lied to them to teach people that lying doesn’t pay.

Apparently drugs-taking, did pay, however, as she never mentioned having taken drugs, nor did she distance herself from the given fact that she pled guilty to obstructing justice in the BALCO case.

Conte, on the other hand, had plenty to say about the types of drugs Marion Jones took following her confession, despite his apparent stance behind her in her corner. Conte mentioned time and again throughout the course of time over the past four years that Marion Jones took drugs, and following her 2006 EPO revelation, made the expectant, “I told you so,” statement to the world.

He wasn’t slow in making the same point in 2007, either.

“Marion took both species of the clear,” Conte said in an e-mail. She took “Norbolethone from August 2000 until December 2000. She then used THG from January 2001 until September 2001.”

Marion Jones shed tears during the second minute of her 265-second aired statement, which was broadcast live on television in America, and shown via satellite around the world. She apologised for having let down people who’d supported her, naming a lie to Federal agents – something she deemed as being “stupid” – as being the reason she was in trouble.

The President of the International Association of Athletics Federations chimed in with mixed emotions concerning the confession.

“First of all, I am deeply disappointed that an athlete with Marion Jones' immense natural ability gave in to the corrupt, ‘get-rich-quick’ spin of a dope dealer like Victor Conte,” Diack told PA Sport.

“If she had trusted to her own natural gifts and allied them to self-sacrifice and hard work I sincerely believe that she could have been an honest champion at the Sydney Games.

“Now, instead, Marion Jones will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history.

“It is a tragedy, and I am glad that Marion Jones is aware not only of the damage that her action caused herself and her loved ones, but also her fans, her country and her sport of athletics, both in the USA and all over the world.

“A lot of people believed in the achievements of Marion Jones and this confession leaves a bitter taste, and tarnishes the image of a sport in which a majority of athletes are honest and clean.”

Perhaps Diack could have been speaking from his heart – far down from the depths of his soul – rather than from his logic facilities when stating that he was “deeply disappointed that an athlete with Marion Jones’ immense natural ability gave in to the corrupt, ‘get-rich-quick’ spin of a dope dealer like Victor Conte.”

Marion Jones is believed to have possessed incredible talent at one stage in her life – during a time when she was a teenager with big ambitions to someday win the Olympics. Then Marion Jones grew up into the adult world, and she put more time in under gymnasium lights than under the glow of natural light on the athletics field, and, in having traded love for running for one of dribbling, shooting and scoring, she diminished her ability and capacity to run as she once had...as a teenager.

She re-emerged on the scene five years removed from being a precocious adolescent, and had had injuries and lack of focus on her with which to overcome during that stretch of time. She never re-gained even a semblance of her former self whilst at university, and, having made up her mind to suddenly give athletics one more go – now at the age of 22, she set forth on the course which has led to this very moment.
Graham and Conte were two of the means to the end, but this path was initiated with a plan. That plan had its genesis in 1997, and came to fruition in a timeframe which was a meagre, paltry and anorexic 13 weeks later.

Marion Jones had few close friends as a teen at Thousand Oaks High School during her two years with the team, but one person, Samantha (Clark) Hollister, enjoyed playing basketball and running track with her, and believes along the same line as others captivated by Marion Jones’s ability as a youth.

"I just feel awful that these things have happened to her and that she felt like she needed to do more in order to excel," Hollister said.

"She’s such a natural talent. . . . If there was ever anyone you met who you thought wouldn't have to do [steroids] to be a success, it was her. She was just so naturally gifted. She could have done any sport and won a gold medal, in my opinion."

Diack, like Hollister and so many other previous supporters have appeared to overlook that part, but they aren’t alone in believing that Marion Jones had the talent to succeed. That talent, however, was wasted away during four years of inactivity and heartache, injury and weight issues non-conducive to being a world-class sprinter – or any sprinter for that matter.

Marion Jones may have gathered a few more supporters in her corner with her declaration of guilt before the world, but as far as athletics was concerned, it was interested in hearing Marion Jones state she had taken undetectable performance-enhancing drugs and having lied about that to authorities is what caused her to fall into peril, not a short spiel about lying to authorities.

Even her old Thousand Oaks High School long jump coach, Jerry Sawitz, lamented the fact that Marion Jones had ended up in this state of affairs.

"She was just one of the most amazing athletes you're ever going to see.

"I mean, once-in-a-lifetime kind of athletes,” Sawitz said.

"I've seen her take a tennis ball and dunk it in a basketball hoop. I'd always defended her because what she was doing at 15 or 16; running the 100 meters in 11.1 (seconds) wasn't that much of a stretch from what she did on the world stage. I just thought it was a natural progression for a great athlete.

"But the Marion Jones you see today is a different person than the Marion Jones we knew in 1992. The Marion you see now is the result of a lot of poor decisions. It's really sad."

Marion Jones made an admission to those same family members and friends about having made poor decisions through a letter written to them – one which spread across the internet, but was unable to tell them in person when the cameras were rolling and live broadcasts were taping her every word.

Marion Jones would have had the greatest amount of exposure as a contrite person had she named drugs, her use of them, her cover-up, and offered to provide the IOC and IAAF the medals which she had won as an athlete who’d won those distinctions by way of fraud.

Instead, what the world received was what appeared to be one more in a line of prepared statements, crying queues and lack of substance by which to judge the veracity of the truthfulness meant to be implied by the words she chose to use to communicate her message.

One was simply awaiting a similar phrase as was stated in the courthouse, namely:
“I consumed this substance [THG] several times before the Sydney Olympics and continued using it after. By November 2003, I realized he was giving me performance-enhancing drugs.”

In hindsight, however, perhaps such a statement would have brought about boos, jeers, hisses and heckling in the crowd from someone who was wise enough to know that Marion Jones had again played victim and pulling a fast one over the senses.

So, the world was left with, “It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you I have betrayed your trust.” The great shame manifested here in this statement was that she again misinformed – deceived – those who were following the broadcast with their hearts and had reacted to her tears.

Three days later, however, she relinquished possession of her five Sydney Olympic medals, and had stated she was sorry to her teammates and competitors – though she never said so when she had the grand opportunity to have done so; this was reported as her having been sorry according to a source close to the case, not Marion Jones physically stating she was sorry.

Many of her former competitors could care less how ‘sorry’ Marion Jones has become. She robbed them of the opportunity to finish first, experience the rush of emotion which is stored up for special occasions such as the Olympic Games and world championships, and to hear their national anthems played in front of millions of people around the world – a true symbol that one had been elevated to the highest mountain and had been victor on the one day of one’s life when it most counted.

Russian Irina Privalova, who anchored her 4x400m team in Sydney to the bronze medal, could care less about trading in the bronze for a silver one.

"No, I'm not happy at all to get that silver instead of the bronze," Privalova, who retired after Sydney, was quoted as saying by the All Sport news agency.

"I’m not happy because Marion's admission to drug use is a real tragedy for our sport."

Some of her other competitors really laid into Marion Jones following the reported EPO test. Others stated that Marion Jones should go to jail following her acknowledgment of having lied to federal authorities, though it was about drugs with which her competitors had taken issue.

Others, including Richardson, stated simply that the entire matter was “sad”, and that due to the decision Marion Jones chose to make, she took the decision and choice away from the rest of her team, concluding that whether or not the IOC takes their team’s medals, the characters of the US team will forever be questioned.

And those of many future teams as well.

Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-8

Story by Eric.

(This is the eighth installment of a long series titled, "Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones").

Marion Jones is a liar, and her attorneys did everything in their power to prove to the courts that she was a good-natured person who had simply made a mistake – her first one of criminal consequence. They also, apparently, did nothing as Marion Jones lied to the Federal agents despite her legal counsel’s pleas to speak truthfully whilst she was being interviewed in their presence.

They wanted you to see her as a humanitarian – a person of great devotion to her children, and one who has affected people in positive ways, not negative ones. They wanted you to see Marion Jones as a mother providing for her family; a contributor of good will toward all men through charity work; an ally to family and friends; and one who has provided humility and respect for others. Her chosen supporters also wanted you to see her as a God-fearing Christian.

They didn’t want you to view the persona that was Marion Jones, rather the person, or “the lesser-known side of Marion.”

Unfortunately, despite the spin control her support team attempted to put on her personal life, the sport of athletics viewed her as a liar.

And so did the U.S. Federal government, which has in no uncertain terms stated that “wilful and corrupt taking of a false oath in regard to a material matter in a judicial proceeding” is perjury and punishable by fine and/or imprisonment – or both. The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated of Marion Jones:

“Deceiving federal agents in the course of their investigations disrupts and impedes the proper administration of justice and is a serious matter. Even if the truth is eventually uncovered, the lies throw investigators off track, waste time and resources, and create a real risk of a miscarriage of justice.”

Over the course of her 13-year professional life, Marion Jones lied to herself. She lied to her family. Marion Jones lied to God, and asked for her own forgiveness. She even had the gumption to lie to Oprah of all people – a woman who had once interviewed Marion Jones on the importance of self-esteem, and who’d featured Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery on her show.

And she lied to you, me and everyone in between who ever watched her run a race as a professional athlete, notwithstanding any arbitrary dates Marion Jones provided the presiding judge in her case.

Now, following scrutiny and punishment – both in public and in the inner sanctuary of a court of law, she attempted to clear the air to the best of her ability, though those efforts would never reach far enough to expose the truth in its entirety – only parts of it. Partial truth is not complete truth, and is not truthful on its own.

The IAAF Council, held a formal meeting on Friday, 2007-November-23, and decided on six points concerning Marion Jones, but leaves Marion Jones’s career prior to judgment safe from further punishment:


IAAF Press Release on Marion Jones

Friday 23 November 2007

At its meeting held in Monaco on 23 November 2007, the IAAF Council reviewed the case of Marion Jones in light of her admission that she was using the prohibited substance known as 'the clear' beginning on 1 September 2000 and confirmed the following consequences of her admission of doping and acceptance of sanction:

1. A 2-year period of ineligibility beginning on the date of her acceptance of sanction on 8 October 2007 i.e., until 7 October 2009;

2. Disqualification of Marion Jones from all competitions on or subsequent to 1 September 2000.

3. Annulment of all her individual competitive results on or subsequent to 1 September 2000;

4. Annulment of the results of all relay teams in which she competed in IAAF competitions on or subsequent to 1 September 2000;

5. Forfeiture and return of all awards and medals obtained in relation to the above competitions;

6. Forfeiture and return of money awarded to her in relation to the above competitions.
The IAAF Council further recommends to the IOC Executive Board to disqualify Ms Jones and the USA women's 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams from the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and to insist on the return of all medals and diplomas.


Marion Jones disappears from existence for a period of time. She’s gone as though she almost never existed. Her marks and places in one Olympic Games where she stole five medals by way of fraud and the subsequent IAAF World Championships are gone. Most people who merely follow along for the four-year ride between Olympiads will be glad justice was served and the evil-doer of the sport was finally put away. She won’t be able to compete again following the ban until she pays back the $700.000 she owes from having illegally collected prize money and appearance fees.

Moreover, 39 European meeting arrangers are suing Marion Jones for approximately $3.1 million dollars for prize and appearance fees she collected from 2000-2006 – the years she has had her results annulled.

If it were only that simple to cast away Marion Jones’s career as though this judgement captured the bulk of what she had done against the sport. In fact, it doesn’t. Marion Jones’s drug use began long before her date of admission of guilt, and her best marks long before she won – stole – Olympic gold. In fact, her previous results prompted her insanely high salary from Nike in her effort to win (steal) five gold medals in Sydney.

The just punishment the U.S. government decided to give her is equal in the matter of the jurisdiction of the judicial branch of the Government of the United States, to the degree of her having knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed, and covered up by trick material facts and made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements or representations. That violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 called for an imprisonment not more than 5 years, a fine, or both – so help the judge’s discretion.

Judge Karas’ discretion was used to draw a conclusion that six months confinement in Federal prison was the just punishment for such behavior and rule-breaking.

Expectedly, Marion Jones’s attorneys played her as the good girl in this story – a person who had no previous criminal history, and who is raising two small children – one of which has been raised for nearly four years without the biological father’s monetary assistance. They attempted to draw parallels to other law-breakers who have been granted a satisfactory sentence of probation rather than a custodial term, and hoped the Federal judge presiding over this case would draw a similar inference and conclusion.

They wrote in a memorandum to the United States prosecuting attorney that the mere fact that Marion Jones was convicted of the crimes of having made false statements should be deterrent enough to hinder others from following in the same footsteps; they argued that since Marion Jones had spoken about her lies, she had been “publicly shamed, vilified and excoriated.” Under those circumstances, they argued, “a custodial term is not necessary to achieve individual or general deterrence.”

I.R.S. Special Agent Jeff Novitzky persuaded Marion Jones to admit to her steroid use by using the leverage of the check-fraud charge against her. Each case carried the weight of their own punishments – a point Federal Judge Karas weighed one week before rendering effective her punishment before him in Courtroom 218 in the United States Southern District Court.

Even when the end times drew near, Marion Jones lied about how deep, how far and how involved she had been with the disgraceful subject of performance-enhancing drugs, and here’s why I believe that:

Marion Jones took performance-enhancing drugs in 2000 – a fact to which she has reluctantly admitted. What she has failed to admit is that it would have been as impossible now – as it was then – that in 1997 Marion Jones could have picked up her track spikes and become USA sprint champion following four years of either inactivity or very limited competition in an event which craves the utmost of physical training, races, timings and practice to power one’s body 100m down a lane built on a synthetic surface, and to do it in less than 11 seconds, nonetheless.

That Marion Jones was able to run sub-11 seconds isn’t the issue here. The fact that she did this with less than 13 weeks of training following four years of basic non-activity is.

Athletes – people – who make money through illegal means don’t simply turn and walk away once one particularly stated objective has been met. The implication made by the Sydney drug-taking is that Marion Jones needed fast recovery times between events in order to not succumb to the numerous strains she would have to endure in participating in five events – most of which had qualifying rounds or jumps. Marion Jones left Sydney with endorsements and marketing capabilities unrivalled by her peers. She began to form a certain lifestyle, and the expectation she had was one of maintaining it.

One doesn’t suddenly stop doping cold turkey and hope that their natural talent – something killed off by inactivity several years earlier – is able to take them through the rest of their career at the same level as they had been on drugs. Marion Jones wants you to believe, however, that she was unintentionally drugged during the timeframe she provided the U.S. District Court and that she found herself sluggish and tired once she stopped taking those drugs provided by Graham – in the end of 2002.

Marion Jones may want to point to her subsequent seasons as proof that she was not on performance-enhancing drugs, as her times and marks did not improve in any of her events following her departure from Trevor Graham’s camp, and that drugs were the reason she had done exceptionally well during the time-frame she stated.

This brings up a good point – one which asks how, therefore, did Marion Jones come out of nowhere in 1997 and not only take home national honours in the USA Championships by winning the 100m, but went on to win a world championship two months later – sufficiently recovering along the way and withstanding the duration of the season?

How did she put together a nearly undefeated season in 1998 – one which stretched her 36 competitions thin between the first and the final? If Graham, who was her coach, didn’t begin doping her until 2000, how did Marion Jones, who maintains to have not been doped, run the fifth-fastest 100m time in the history of the world and take home another world championship the preceding year in what was another very long and taxing series of trials, qualifications and finals?

Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-7

Story by Eric.

(This is the seventh installment in a long series titled, "Why You Should Not Believe Marion Jones". This section contains Marion Jones's confession letter and her subsequent news statement on the matter.)

“Dear family and close friends,

I hope this letter finds all of you well. I know some of you must be wondering where the pictures are that I so often attach to my emails. Unfortunately, this is a much different type of letter. I write this letter to all of you for a few reasons.

The first is simply because I love you all. Some things will be happening in the next week that I want you all to know about from me FIRST. You deserve this because you have been there for me from the very beginning. You have supported me throughout the many struggles that I have had in my life and continue to do so to this day. You deserve to hear about Marion from Marion and not from the USA Today or CNN.

The second reason is because I finally want to shed much baggage that has been tearing me down for a long time. I want to share with you all my humanness. The fact that I have made mistakes in my life, made bad decisions, and have carried a great amount of pain and hurt throughout my life. I want you all to understand that I have constructed, what I thought, was this impenetrable wall, to protect me from hurtful and harmful people and things.

In doing this I, unfortunately, have distanced myself from loved ones and made myself impossible, at times, to connect with. I want you all to know that I sincerely apologize for this.

One day soon, I hope you will understand the reason for me having such behavior. I am not trying to justify it, but simply want you all to have a better understanding of why I have done certain things in my life. Having said this, I realize the need to be up front and honest with you about several things that have transpired in my life. I will not candy coat the following statements, as I have done this and tapped around the truth for too long.

As many of you know I am not one for a lot of small talk so I will get right to the crux of this letter. On October 5th, 2007, I plan to plead guilty to two counts of lying to federal agents. I will travel to New York on Friday, October 5 th, where my mom will meet me, and return home to Austin on the following afternoon. I will now try and explain the details of all this to you all.

In 1999, my track coach Trevor Graham provided me with some nutritional supplements. There is one in particular that he called 'flaxseed oil.' He advised me to take this supplement by placing a few drops under my tongue and then swallow. He told me that it was necessary to add this to my diet so that I could be in peak running shape. I, unfortunately, never asked him any questions about it. I trusted him and never thought for one second that he would jeopardize my career, nor his own. He told me to administer it by placing a few drops under my tongue for a few seconds and then to swallow. He supplied me this for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

In 2001, I noticed a change in how my body felt, how I was able to recover and my strength level. I felt generally weaker in my entire training routine. At that time I attributed the noticeable change to being burnt out from the Olympics, etc. It was not until after I left Trevor at the end of 2002 that I began to wonder to my self whether or not Trevor had given me something to enhance my performance.

Looking back in hindsight, red flags should have been raised in my head when he told me not to tell anyone about our workouts or supplementation program. At that time my rationale was, well it makes sense not to give out any information about what we do, why give my competitors any edge.

In 2003, I was interviewed by federal agents regarding the Balco scandal. For those of you that do not know, Balco was the name of a company that provided nutritional supplements and steroids to athletes through its owner Victor Conte. You can just Google it, if you need further explanation. In that interview, agents asked me several questions regarding my involvement, if any, with Balco or Victor Conte. There are two questions, in particular, that have gotten me into part of the trouble that I am involved in today.

Agents asked me if I had ever seen this substance called the 'clear.', and they then showed it to me. Up to this point I had heard about this steroid called the 'clear,' but had never seen it, or so I thought. It was the brain child of Victor Conte. When shown the substance I recognized it immediately as the supplement that Trevor Graham had given me and had referred to as 'flaxseed oil,' and knew at that moment that I had taken it for nearly 2 years. I panicked and told the agents that I had never seen the substance before. This was a lie. I indeed had seen it before but was introduced to it under a different name.

The agents concluded the interview by asking me if I had ever taken a performance enhancing drug, or PED, as I will refer to it the rest of the letter. I told them that I had never taken a PED in my career. Prior to this interview, before seeing the 'clear' I could have honestly said and did, that I never knowingly took any banned substances. But once they showed me the 'clear' and total me that it was indeed a PED, I knew that what I had taken and been given was a banned substance and I lied about it.

I lied for a few reasons. I lied because I panicked. I lied to protect my coach at the time. I lied to protect all that I had worked so very hard for in my life and career. And lastly, I lied to protect myself. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do. I made the decision to break the law and have to take full responsibly for doing so. All of this was after my attorneys had specifically told me several times the need to be totally truthful with the agents.

That will be the first count that I will plead guilty to on Friday. As you can all imagine, the story will be front page news, and I want you all, as I have stated in the beginning of this letter, to have heard the truth from me.

Regarding the second count of lying to a federal agent-.At the beginning of 2006 I met with prosecutors in New York regarding a check fraud and check counterfeiting scheme they had been investigating. They had called me in because a $25,000.00 check had been deposited into my account in 2005, and apparently it was one of the counterfeit checks. I was asked if I knew anything about the check. I told the prosecutors no. This was a lie!

The facts are these-.Tim Montgomery, Monty's biological father, gave me the check in 2005 and told me that it was from the sale of a refurbished vehicle that he owned and it would be towards partial repayment of $50, 000.00 which I loaned him for attorney expenses back in 2004. The government believes that I knew about the check fraud scheme from the beginning and that I knew that the check was counterfeit. This is not the case.

Once again I panicked. I lied because I wanted to protect Monty's biological father. Although my relationship had ended, I did not want to be the one responsible for putting him in jail or getting him in trouble. And lastly, I wanted to protect myself. I did not want my name associated with this mess. I wanted to stay as far away from it as possible. And so I lied. I am not giving excuses for what I have done. I just want you to understand, even if it is only slightly, my bizarre reasoning behind lying to a federal agent, for the second time.

This brings us to the present. Both the Northern District of California and the Southern District of New York cases will be presided over by one Judge in New York. They call this a global resolution. The sentencing will be held in approximately 3 months, or sometime at the beginning of January. The sentencing guideline for an offense such as this is 0-6 months in jail. Although it is extremely hard to fathom being away from my family for any length of time, I have to put the rest in God's hands and pray that this horrible chapter in my life, be resolved as soon as possible. I wanted you to know this and not be surprised when you pick up the paper or turn on the computer within the next week. You deserve more than that.

The next several months will be very difficult for me and my family, and all of you as well. With all of this happening though I want you to know that I feel a huge relief already being lifted as I will finally be able to tell the truth, as hard as it might be . I want to apologize to you all for all of this. I am sorry for putting you all through this after you have been there for me through everything. I want to apologize to you, in advance, for the questions that you will be asked about me and about your relationships with me. And lastly, I am sorry for disappointing you all, in so many ways. My intent was never to hurt any of you.

I hope that one day I will be able to share with you, and the world, my struggles with certain things in my life. And in addition use my story to help direct, motivate, and possibly even inspire young people to make better decisions in their lives.

Please keep me in your prayers.



Marion Jones’s confession preceded immediate action which was to be taken against her by U.S. Federal authorities and by the athletics governing body of her nation. The legal hearing against her was nearly instantaneous (yet six months following her confession to agents), following her letter above and prompted Marion Jones to hold a press conference outside the courthouse following her judgement:

“Good afternoon, everyone,

“I am Marion Jones-Thompson, and I am here today, because I have something very important to tell you, my fans, my friends and my family.

“Over the many years of my life, as an athlete in the sport of track and field, you have been fiercely loyal and supportive towards me. Even more loyal and supportive than words can declare has been my family – and especially my dear mother who stands by my side today.

“And so it is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust.

“I want all of you to know that today I plead guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal agents. Making false statements to these agents was an incredibly stupid thing for me to do, and I am responsible fully for my actions. I have no one to blame but myself for what I have done.

“To you, my fans – including my young supporters, the United States Track & Field Association, my closest friends, my attorneys, and the most-classy family a person could ever hope for, namely my mother, my husband, my children, my brother and his family, my uncle, and the rest of my extended family – I want you to know that I have been dishonest. And you have the right to be angry with me. I have let them down, I have let my country down, and I have let myself down.

“I recognise that by saying ‘I am deeply sorry’, it might not be enough and sufficient to address the pain and the hurt that I have caused you. Therefore, I want to ask for your forgiveness for my actions, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

“I have asked Almighty God for my forgiveness.

“Having said this, and because of my actions, I am retiring from the sport of track and field – a sport which I deeply love.

“I promise that these events will be used to make the lives of many people improved – that by making the wrong choices and bad decisions can be disastrous.

“I want to thank you all for your time.”

Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-6

(This is the sixth installment of a long series on Marion Jones titled "Why You Should Not Believe Marion Jones". This information sets up the charges which Marion Jones faced for lying to authorities.)

- v. - : S6 05 Cr. 1067 (KMK)

(False Statements to a Government Agency)

The United States Attorney charges:


1. At all times relevant to this Information, MARION JONES, the defendant (“JONES”), was an elite, professional track and field athlete. Among other achievements, JONES won five medals, including three gold medals, at the Summer Olympic Games held in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

The Northern District of California Criminal Investigation

2. At all times relevant to this Information, Balco Laboratories, Inc. (“Balco”), was a California corporation performing blood-testing, among other functions. Balco was located in Burlingame, California.

3. At all times relevant to this Information, Trevor Graham (“Graham”), was a coach for track and field athletes, including professional and Olympic athletes, and had coached
MARION JONES, the defendant, from approximately 1997 to 2002.

4. A federal criminal investigation commenced in the Northern District of California (“the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation”) in or about 2002. The Northern District of California Criminal Investigation concerned the distribution of anabolic steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs and the related money laundering of proceeds from said distributions and centered around Balco. The Northern District of California Criminal Investigation subsequently expanded to include, among other things, investigation into whether various witnesses made false statements during interviews with federal agents. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CID”), San Jose Office, was the lead investigative agency throughout the course of the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation.

5. As part of the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation, on or about September 3, 2003, a federal search warrant, issued by a United States Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California, was executed at the Balco premises in Burlingame, California. Among other things, investigators obtained evidence concerning MARION JONES, the defendant, and her relationship with Balco, Graham, and other professional athletes.

6. As part of the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation, on November 4, 2003, a Special Agent of IRS-CID, along with other Government officials, interviewed MARION JONES, the defendant. Prior to the interview, a letter agreement between JONES and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California covering JONES’s interview was executed. The letter-agreement provided that any statements made by JONES during the interview would not be used against her in connection with any prosecution of JONES, except under limited circumstances. The letter-agreement specifically stated that JONES was not immunized from prosecution for making false statements during the interview.

7. During the interview on November 4, 2003, a Special Agent of IRS-CID asked MARION JONES, the defendant, in the presence of her attorneys, about the following matters, among others, all of which were material to the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation:

(a) Whether JONES had ever seen or used a performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear”;

(b) and (b) Whether JONES had received the item referred to in paragraph 7(a) from Graham.

The Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation

8. Timothy Montgomery (“Montgomery”) was an elite, professional track and field athlete. MARION JONES, the defendant, and Montgomery lived together at various times between in or about 2002 until in or about the summer of 2005.

9. A federal criminal investigation commenced in the Southern District of New York (“the Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation”) in or about June 2005 concerning a series of counterfeit checks. The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), was the lead investigative agency throughout the course of the Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation.

10. The Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation included investigation into a counterfeit check for $850,000 deposited in or about April 2005 into a business account controlled by Nathaniel Alexander (“Alexander”), an individual who resided in Norfolk, Virginia, and the distribution of the proceeds of the $850,000 counterfeit check. Alexander was a friend and officemate of the person who was, in or about 2005, the track coach of MARION JONES, the defendant, and Montgomery.

One check for $25,000 from Alexander, which represented part of the proceeds of the $850,000 counterfeit check, was made out to JONES and was deposited by JONES into an account maintained by her.

11. The Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation also included investigation into a counterfeit check for $200,000 deposited by Montgomery in or about May 2005 into a business account controlled by Montgomery and MARION JONES, the defendant. JONES and Montgomery executed documents to add JONES as a signatory to that business account several days before Montgomery deposited the $200,000 counterfeit check.

12. As part of the Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation, a Special Agent of ICE, along with other Government officials, interviewed MARION JONES, the defendant, on August 2, 2006, and September 5, 2006, at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During the interview, JONES was asked, in the presence of her attorney, about the following matters, among others, all of which were material to the Southern District of New York Criminal Investigation:

a. Whether JONES was aware of a $25,000 check from Alexander to her;

b. Whether JONES was aware of Montgomery’s receipt of any large checks, including the $200,000 counterfeit check, in or about 2004 or 2005; and(c) Whether JONES had any knowledge of Montgomery’s involvement in a counterfeit check fraud scheme.

13. On or about April 9, 2007, Montgomery pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and two counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1344 and 2, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Montgomery’s guilty plea was predicated upon, among other things, the deposit of the $200,000 counterfeit check into the account controlled by Montgomery and MARION JONES, the defendant.


14. On or about November 4, 2003, in the Northern District of California, MARION JONES, the defendant, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, falsified, concealed, and covered up by trick, scheme, and device material facts, and made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit, in an interview with a Special Agent of IRS-CID conducted as part of the Northern District of California Criminal Investigation, JONES made the following false statements and concealed and covered up the following material facts:

a) JONES falsely and fraudulently stated that she had never seen or ingested a performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear,” when, in truth and in fact, JONES had seen and ingested a performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear”; and

b) JONES falsely and fraudulently stated that she had never received a performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear” from Graham, when, in truth and in fact, JONES had received a performance-enhancing drug known as “the clear” from Graham.

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.)


(False Statements to a Government Agency)

The United States Attorney further charges:

15. The factual allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 and 8 through 13.


Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-5

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?

Why You Shouldn't Believe Jones-4

Story by Eric.

(This is the fourth installment in a long series on Marion Jones, titled: "Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones").

Through the forum allowed by this blog series, you are now ready to embark on a passage together with others who are seeking true closure in this case and to move on toward further enjoyment of this sport – no longer impeded by Marion Jones’s denials of wrongdoing, and one in which she is no longer employed.

There are those of you who have already asked yourself, “why bother,” because she’s already paid for her lies by spending time in prison and getting stuck with a hefty community service responsibility following her release.

There is a tendency by many to close the door on Marion Jones and simply believe this blog series is an attack on a woman whose time has already been served.

My enjoyment of this sport has never been higher than over the past decade, and that may be one reason why I have steadfastly pursued the topic of performance-enhancing drugs. I never set out on a purposeful, dedicated course from my little corner of the world to write more than a few paragraphs on an internet message board regarding my belief that Marion Jones was a doped athlete who also lied about it and abused her sport, and thought I’d rested my case on Friday, 2006-August-18, “The Day Track Died” according to one American track and field poster on an athletics message board.

Regarding Marion Jones, and later BALCO, one hind-sighted thought after another about her led me to an epiphany: there was no natural way on the earth that a woman several years removed from the core of the sport could have accomplished her lifetime achievements on natural willpower, drive, determination, work ethic and right opportunity alone in such a short period of time. She had to have received help – an unnatural one which would scream “ban me if found” along the way.

I’d wondered why no one had discovered this earlier.

That sudden intuitive leap of understanding fell right into my lap, and I was not slow in voicing my opinion on the matter – taking up valuable space on a bulletin board to point out some simple facts, which, when viewed from a logical and outer perspective, made conclusive sense in light of the circumstances accused cheats had once stated. Few believed, because they afforded a very low belief factor to one who cheats but who may actually have a possibility of being able to tell the truth (i.e.: Dwain Chambers).

That voice resounded so greatly that one began to assume that all I had to discuss in general on that message board was Marion Jones, a “dead” BALCO story, and one moderator told me I was polluting his board with stories of such – though in reality, a minimal number of my posts were related to any drugs stories at all.

My defensive exchange of on-line bulletin board messages with one particular die-hard Marion Jones supporter spurned on my research, with me having fortified my position and arguments against his by supporting them with unmovable facts and figures, times, marks and places Marion Jones had accomplished under various periods of her athletics career – periods now stated by admission to have included being drug periods, though one knows through intuition and experience that her voyage down this path of deceit began much earlier than so.

Those professional times and marks would later prove to be impossible for her to have achieved in the absence of consistent opportunity and active participation in an event which demands perfection, and one which is based on power and an intricate level of timings. My having also openly questioned alliances, practices and statements she and her lawyers made touched off a complete and utterly irreversible spat of rage from this supporter, and provided me another key element upon which to further regard the phenomenon behind her deeply-rooted fan support.

What began as a random thought evolved into a strong supporting belief that Marion Jones was, actually, a doped athlete when she transitioned back into the sport in the spring of 1997, though she eventually was only stripped of honours achieved on or after 2000-September-1.

Following up a barrage of quotations and defences from her supporting cast – her attorneys and managers – led me to understand that Marion Jones had never taken a pro-active step in her professional life to distance herself from the possibility that associations with known cheats could – and would – send a negative message to the world and render ineffective her strong and vocal stance on the topic, namely that she was a proponent of a drug-free sport.

The fact that neither her governing body nor USADA had chosen her as an anti-doping ambassador – with she, Marion Jones, being one of her nation’s greatest marquee names to ever participate in the sport and never having had failed a drugs test – spoke volumes on her credibility without having to have made an utterance on the subject.

Those supporting beliefs turned into a mini-crusade of sorts whereby I began to tackle on Marion Jones’s apologists’ own beliefs in her innocence when all the circumstantial evidence began suggesting that she was, indeed, never far from the foul line.

The struggle to prove her guilt was not as difficult for me to prove theoretically as it was for those who attempted to defend it based solely on a lack of physical evidence. The souring point between my crusading and their defending came to pass when I disclosed property matters concerning Marion Jones’s estates – a topic which threw her supporters off balance and over the edge. I was made an outcast and my motivations for discussing performance-enhancing drugs was deemed to be a fix I needed to make it through the days and nights, weeks and months until someone high up the food chain was to fall from grace.

Folks accused me of making and holding to slanted assumptions about Marion Jones and telling half-truths – the exact same thing which I had been accusing Marion Jones of doing. Friday, 2007-October-05, was a day of redemption of sorts, as much of my speculation had turned into truth when one of the persons being investigated in this story, Marion Jones, unveiled part of the secret she had been harbouring.

I didn’t revel in her moment of truth, however, as I kept to myself and quietly finished this blog series; hers was a half-truth, and, by definition, not fully the truth as it turns out.

One personal challenge I’d faced over the course of the year to help free fans of the unreasonable beliefs they’d held of superstar athletes like Marion Jones doing the improbable and implausible with the limited resources they had available had been a difficult and tense task to undertake at times, costing me many an hour of heated debate – even amongst friends.

There had been supporters of my “cause” as it may be – people who tended not to believe that all was as it seemed under the surface of fast times, excellent marks and out-of-the-blue performances which are meant to jaw-drop and inspire us. There were those who, in their own rites, had expressed less than cautious optimism over the implausible, and they, too, had been deemed cynics and non-believers.

Being unable to walk a block – or even a few metres – in Marion Jones’s shoes, I’m not qualified to be on par with her; I have never been to an Olympic stadium filled with tens of thousands of admirers chanting my name and holding their collective breath whilst I put my spikes into a set of starting blocks used to push off and thrust me forward in my drive to the finish line, nor have I jetted planes between continents to run in a world championships competition.

I don’t have the slightest idea what pressures faced an (ex-) athlete like Marion Jones at the highest level, nor will I ever pretend to bear such comprehension. The closest I’ve gotten to the top is vicariously through two friends along my walk in life – one who made an Olympic final, the other who made his nation’s team, but not the Games’ qualification standard in his middle distance event.

It is for the love of this sport in its purity and for the friendships gained by sharing in this sport with others closely following across the world that I had taken one topic and spent the greater part of two years of my life attempting to put closure to a systematic belief that when someone does the implausible, there’s likely a compelling reason that the time, distance or mark – including success in chasing five Olympic gold medals – had never been accomplished before.

EPO testing gave me an exclusive opportunity to jump-start this series.

Marion Jones’s confession provided me an opportunity to finish writing this part of a dark history shared between her and the sport which so dearly paid her excellent wages and generous bonuses.

I, like many of you, watched the news trickle in from one major international paper to another – from seasoned journalists putting in their humble opinions to fresh graduates hoping to spring their careers into fast-forward – following Marion Jones’s “A”-test positive – with syndicate stories making their waves in local markets where athletics has likely only been discussed once every four years when the big machine called the Olympic Games makes its way on the television set and one cries when they hear their national anthem.

I’d initially set up an RSS news alert to collect and select information which contained the name “Marion Jones”, and the news poured in with one teaser headline after another – some more sensationalistic than were others – when she confessed of being a drugs cheat.

One thing was for certain with respect to the news, however: someone twice leaked sensitive information about Marion Jones – once in the form of a drugs test, the following as a brief letter she’d written to family and close friends, and the reporters of news wanted us to know, though not necessarily about the source of the leak, rather what was leaked.

I watched, judged and waited patiently for two weeks following the “A”-sample analysis leak before the “B”-sample was completed, with the contrasting results revelation an apparent wipe-out to my few paragraphs on the subject I had begun to discuss through writing of Marion Jones being a “guilty” athlete.

I was relieved when the “A”-sample test was revealed, despite its manner, insofar as Marion Jones would finally be forced to come to terms with the innuendos, the rumours, the testimonies and the bad choices from the past – something at which she had become adept at out-sprinting from the get-go.

However, as her luck had proven to be her best ally during any of her previous ordeals, no mea culpa was to be heard as Marion Jones’s “B”-sample result would look to dash the hopes many had on her being a proven doped athlete.

Insofar as Marion Jones spoke in her own defence on a television programme aired nationally in the United States and linked internationally on several internet sites, the “B”-sample result would not prove to be the deal-breaker which would send me onward to better days, rather the springboard into looking into the totality of her statements, and adding up the sum of the parts to make a conclusive opinion of the whole.

In considering the “A”-sample taken, I thought about the doping control officer who escorted Marion Jones around following her 100m dash in Indianapolis, and what feelings they had when they learned an athlete in their care and custody of such magnitude would test positive for a banned substance taken no more than 60 minutes after they assumed responsibility to ensure she made it safely and timely to the doping control point.

I’ve worked on two doping control crews at major championship events, and have an affinity with the doping control process. Each and every athlete whom I have escorted from their event to the drug screening stations has been a pleasure to work with, and had given me no reason to believe that perhaps an hour after I left them in the custody of the doping control agents, they would leave a marker – or series of markers – which would trigger a positive drug evaluation.

That was until after Marion Jones tested positive at the USA Championships – of which I had been nine time zones ahead. Someone in my same position escorted an athlete who would wind up testing positive and testing the system – all unbeknownst to the volunteer who was enjoying the shadow affording their own 60 minutes of fame – a point which struck home to me.

There were fleeting times I had felt as though I’d had an inkling of genuine heart-felt compassion for Marion Jones and had actually soul-searched deep within to ask myself if my own motivations for digging up the past and re-hashing information about the Victor Conte-types of the world and about her finances would do more harm than good not just to her, but to the sport of athletics.

Open debate along with discussion upon discussion led me to fruitless conclusions with those who supported her, with the thrust of those conversations being that one could not trust a liar, a crook and a thief in Victor Conte, CJ Hunter or anyone else whose manipulated a system for their own gain and then turned on Marion Jones when they were exposed.

Yet Marion Jones would admit to having lied, and would turn on Trevor Graham for her personal gain (attempting to stay out of prison) when she was exposed. Tim Montgomery, who set a world record whilst he was her live-in boyfriend, would do the same to Marion Jones under similar circumstances, though in a completely unrelated case to Graham’s.

There were times I contemplated over the fact that if so many people believed so strongly, my insistence on her guilt could simply have been my projecting guilt on her rather than the evidences doing that for me – despite the preponderance of evidence which supported my rationalisation.

Notwithstanding, my role and responsibility in this journal of accounts has always been to look closely at evidences I’d discovered and to analyse them against logic and judgments made by others on either side of the fence. Once I drew conclusions in my mind, it was on to sticking to that resolution and not compromising my decisions for anyone that success in telling this story would come about. Having done so, I was able to hold course due north and come to the finish line under Marion Jones’s, Trevor Graham’s and my own power.

(This story's forward will continue through two more blog entries)