I recommend the column by Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post. >>>>
excellent article mr nelson. i guess traitors john walker lindh and jose padilla got treated better by the legal process and the media, but that is another story. i think that the usada has become from agreessive where they should be, to overzealous hurting the sport in an olympic year. anyway...
"I'll say it straight out: I believe Marion Jones when she says she's innocent, based on what is a persuasive piece of evidence in her favor. In the last four years, Jones has not gotten faster. She's gotten slower. Whatever Jones may be taking, it isn't performance enhancing.
Here is an example of the kind of job USADA is doing in its inquiry into Jones's ties to BALCO. Several weeks ago, Jones met with a trio of USADA officials, including Madden. They presented her with a calendar that purported to be her BALCO doping schedule. It bore several notations and the initials MJ.
"That's not my calendar," she said.
"Then why does it have your sprint times on it?"
Jones replied evenly, "If those are my sprint times, then I just shattered the world record by a second."
The sprint times on the calendar could not have been those of Jones, or of any woman. They were too fast. The USADA representatives didn't even recognize the difference between the sprint times of a male and a female."
All athletes who are members of USATF have agreed to abide by the same rules, which include binding arbitration with the possibility of appeal.
Further, thus far the track record (no pun intended) of those athletes who have attempted to appeal to the legal courts system has generally met with no success, as the contract agreed to has been considered to be sound, with clear avenues for sanction and appeal.
Therefore, any attempt to demonstrate that "athletes' rights are being trampled on" is pure folly. Everyone knows the rules. The only thing that has recently changed is that those persons who thought they could cheat with impunity have now been exposed as frauds, which may represent the first time that those who wish to clean up the sport of Track and Field finally have the upper hand.
And for this there is outrage? Exactly which athletes do you believe have been run over without due process? Which do think weren't dirty that were punished? And why are people screaming so loud about the "unjust persecution" of Marion Jones when she hasn't even been sent a letter by USADA (yet)?
The only thing that is different now is that those who support the hypocrisy and abhorrent inequity of cheaters in sport are being revealed one by one as those who celebrate celebrity for celebrity's sake, rather than fair competition among all athletes.
Don't expect any sympathy from me if Marion Jones can't compete in the Olympics, because you will get none.
Last edited by ycn on Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
What Jenkins did with the calendar story is very old news. The calendar contained more information than just marks for Monty, and just because the investigator is not a track afficianado you make fun of their evidence based upon that scant shred.
There is a WHOLE lot the MJ has not explained satisfactorily to anyone, and if you had actually avidly followed all of the stories instead of skimmed for the good parts you like, you would see that there is simply nothing out there that exhonerates MJ, but an enormous amount of very very negative circumstantial evidence.
Monty, according to leaked GJ testimony (which when reported by reputable news sources has a remarkable consistency of truth, since news outlets hate to lose lawsuits) spilled the beans about his drug use, albeit while trying to limit his period of exposure and insisting that he was clean when he set the WR. (Wouldn't want to lose his meal ticket?)
For those with their heads in the sand, believe whatever you want to believe. If MJ competes in the Olympics and achieves even a modicum of success, and subsequently is not banned, that will be enough to exonerate her for me. However, if she's a complete bust in the Olympics or is not allowed to compete or is subsequently banned, all of those things would cause red flags for me.
You don't go from being a triple gold medalist as a young rising star to a bust four years later without something happening. And if you think the doubts about MJ could be blamed as a cause you are an excuse-maker. The only person who's stirred the hornet's nest is Marion, and if she is innocent, I see no reason whatsoever why that should case any problems with her conscience or ability to prepare.
Glorify the Great Marion all you want, but she's made about ten times the stupid mistakes that any intelligent and honest person should have made along the way. Ignore her Johnny Cochran counterattack when she was facing a four year ban for a FIRST offense.
And ignore one hundred other things. Surrounded by cheating supplement makers, husbands and coaches, tested for testosterone/epitestosterone ratios when there is no medical reason to test for epi, contradictory testimony and seemingly terribly damning statements made publicly including reversing her statements that she claimed were true...
All of that is just a portion of the PROBLEM with Marion. But of course if you can't see that, then you are looking at the forest without noticing the trees.
Well said ycn. I broadly agree. However, I don't think they have as many of the goods on her as they have on the others. I find it laughable that she is complaining about this witch hunt when she, and her attornies, are making the most noise. I think there's a better than 50% chance that she won't be banned. But she's as guilty as sin.
"In the last four years, Jones has not gotten faster. She's gotten slower. Whatever Jones may be taking, it isn't performance enhancing."
I think it's generally accepted that female athletes age-peak earlier than males and it isn't surprising at all that MJ will slow down,if only by a fraction. Wonder if Sally feels the T&F world is besmirtching Flojo's mem. if they hypothesize she may have been turned into a mega-sprinter,because of dubious circumstances. We watch people closely,it's our nature. All we ask are plausible answers to simple questions.
Last edited by Friar on Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt under three conditions:
1. She represents the USA in the Olympics this year.
2. She is not subsequently banned.
3. She garners just one INDIVIDUAL medal this year. I add that because there is no evident reason why there should be a collapse in her performance levels given her age and lack of injury.
The other reasons for diminished performance are fairly obvious. After all, she is still under investigation for the possible use of a previously undetectable drug, and the reasons why she might not have tested positive although dirty are straightforward.
I've just had more and more problems with every disclosure about her. The report about her varying levels of testosterone and epitestosterone in her lab tests was just a killer for me. Even though the established ratios for those two hormones were within legal range, the way the relative amounts of those substances varied so radically from far above normal female human levels to near normal in very short periods of time was just not at all credible to me. You can't just naturally turn on and off the production of those things at will.
>The only thing that is different now is
>that those who support the hypocrisy and abhorrent inequity of cheaters in
>sport are being revealed one by one as those who celebrate celebrity for
>celebrity's sake, rather than fair competition among all athletes.
Your entire post was a work of beauty, but this sentence is the most lucid statement I yet to read by anyone on this topic. Bravo!
so, ycn, if she goes to the Olympics and gets any medal, YOU will exonerate her. How noble of you. If she goes to the Olympics, with all the current hoopla and scrunity, the odds are great that she was never dirty. It only takes ONE person in the know to rat her out, and with ALL the mistakes she's made, that shouldn't be too hard to accomplish, should it? If she's busted, we MJ-supporters will go quietly into our good night, but I think that the MJ-haters will rage, rage against the dying of their light, and feel she just got away with it. Sad state of affairs indeed. [P.S. sorry Dylan]
I get pretty worked up on this entire subject, and it really bothers me that some people are more caught up in the technical protocols of guilt rather than the evidence thereof.
As I've said before, I don't definitively know that Marion Jones was enhanced, but I'm having a very hard time believing, at this point, that she was clean. That doesn't make her a cheater just yet, but she has a lot to prove to a lot of people in order to clear her name. Such is the peril of her actions.
All I really want is for all this to go away. But I don't want it to go away if the problem hasn't been solved. One really hard lesson for a whole bunch of people will have a lasting impact on future integrity in the sport, and I am all for that as long as innocent people haven't been hurt.
Thus far, I haven't seen one single case where I believe injustice was served upon any competitor.
Others may choose to disagree. I have my right, however, to evaluate those reasons, and compare my belief set with those of others.
Call me a hard-case, but I'd rather the bitter lessons are learned now rather than later. I'd hate to see whole generations of records discounted as the products of chemistry rather than incredible human achievement. If this charade is allowed to continue and is not fought tooth and nail, then the sport will disappear in my mind, and I will take up other pursuits.
I've never been a fan of pro wrestling, strongest man competitions, or body building contests. Silly me.
tafnut, I'm no MJ hater. I found her refreshing and appealing in 2000, and she had some heroine status with me.
Sadly, here in 2004 she stands as a diminished hero. It wasn't me that made that happen, it is what Marion allowed to happen herself.
I've given my conditions for exoneration, but true Marion-haters won't be so kind. No matter what happens for them, she's guilty now and forever.
My standards may be higher than some, but I don't think one single individual medal is too much to ask of an innocent athlete who should be better or as least as good as she was four years ago, when she won three golds, and five medals overall.
It's not like she broke her leg in a motorcyle accident or anything.
Last edited by ycn on Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
After collecting USATF/FAST annuals and ATFS/Athletics annuals for the past 25 years I am seriously questioning why I bother to even look at them anymore. This whole fiasco has seriously taken the edge off my interest in the statistical side of the sport and I am a hard core statistics freak.
"My standards may be higher than some, but I don't think one single individual medal is too much to ask of an innocent athlete who should be better or as least as good as she was four years ago, when she won three golds, and five medals overall."
It's too early in the morning (already at school setting up Pole Vault Camp this week) to think up some great examples, but it seems to me that this sort of thing happens all the time in Track. A champion emerges, dominates, and then starts to lose the magic, hangs on long enough to be 'just good' and then retires. That's impossible with MJ?
I have to agree with marknhj. I am certain each of us have a list of records that are, at the very least, suspect. In some cases, we have documented evidence of athletes, still listed as record holders, to include their drugs and associated dosages. The official stance of the IAAF has been that these records should be allowed to stand, since we have no way of knowing that other competitors in those competitions were not also doing drugs.
Each of us is certainly entitled to opinions. The beauty of a forum such as this one is that we can share them with others in our community. But in the larger scope, there must be protocols of evidence that are more stringent than what we "feel", "think", or "know".
As for taking everything that is printed in the press as factual, we need to remember that they generally just reprint what they are told. There are no Woodwards or Bernsteins out there on this subject. And when we think that the press has the goods on someone, even when they claim to have inside information, we should recall the case of Richard Jewel.
>"Here's the supreme irony: Taking performance enhancers is not actually a
>crime. It's a violation of morals, and of the rules of sport, but it's not
She's right but making a point that the general public doesn't understand. As I understand it (see USC 21:13:I:D:844)- use of performance enhancers, whether controlled substances or not is not illegal. Of course, possession of controlled substances (e.g. HGH, EPO, anabolic steroids, Modafinil) is illegal.
>"I think it's generally accepted that female athletes age-peak earlier than
really?! Merlene Ottey and the Russian distance phenoms don't seem
>to notice. I've never heard of that before.
Statistically speaking, the top women performers are on average younger than the men. Also, one only needs look at the high school lists to really see this phenomenon at work. The girls' lists will be populated with sophs, frosh and even 8th graders, whereas there may be one frosh boy and few sophs on the year end list.
I also remember an article from many years ago that stated that men hit their cardiovascular peak between 27 and 35, while women peak at 16 and maintain until about 35 before declining.
There are too many cultural variables present to ascribe a lack of presence of older women elites to body degradation. There is overwhelming societal pressure on women to put down the fun and games and start a family. Men, however, are encouraged to continue sports well beyond their prime years.
>There are too many cultural variables present to ascribe a lack of presence of
>older women elites to body degradation. There is overwhelming societal pressure
>on women to put down the fun and games and start a family. Men, however, are
>encouraged to continue sports well beyond their prime years.
That's becoming less and less true. And the HS lists don't lie--women gain less with increased age even in HS versus men. That they peak earlier is an obvious conclusion given the lower trajectory of improvement in the teens.