35 Marion Jones…

By now you’ve seen clips of Marion Jones’ press conference on Friday, if not…here’s a bit of what she had to say:

“It’s with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust,” Jones said.

“I have been dishonest, and you have the right to be angry with me. I have let [my family] down. I have let my country down, and I have let myself down,” she said. “I recognize that by saying I’m deeply sorry, it might not be enough and sufficient to address the pain and hurt that I’ve 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 want to know what you think of how she handled this? Also, if this happens to other athletes in other sports…NFL, MLB…etc….they either come forward and admit using performance enhancing drugs, or they get caught; how do we deal with that? Can we strike their records, put an asterisk…what should be done?


11 Responses

  1. Marion Jones has pleaded guilty to using performance enhancing drugs. Peter Ueberroth, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman has been quoted as saying “she should step forward and return the medals”. Clearly the medals will be forfeited one way or another. But what happens to the medals? Are they unceremoniously sent to the competitor who finished next in line via Fed-Ex or UPS? And what if that person was a medal winner as well, do they send THEIR medal to the next competitor in line? Who pays the shipping? I’m even more curious about what happens to the medals won by teammates in the relays that Jones competed in. Do her teammates have to surrender them, even if they are above suspicion (the teammates, not the medals)?

    It’s a difficult time for sports fans to believe in the legitimacy of competition; now we’re forced to rewrite the past. If the sporting world continues down this path, you might consider political or business commentary as the core of the show (maybe K.O. got it right!).

    Simi Valley, CA

  2. Even late, it’s nice to see someone accept responsibility for their actions. She’s accepting responsibility now. But Marion Jones doesn’t deserve to keep her medals. What’s worse for her: she is going to jail.

    In MLB, NFL, etc. without admission or proof, the record books should be left alone. The leagues (and the Olympics) need to increase their focus on their on-going job, making sure that the current competition is held to a clean standard. Records are made to be broken. A-Rod will break Bonds’ career HR record, then someone else will break A-Rod’s. The records will take care of themselves.

    The leagues provide the playing field and the game day visibility for the athlete. But was it NBC or Nike who made Marion Jones a household name? I see an opportunity for Phil Knight here.

    Could a company like Nike develop the highest standard here? They’re paying these athletes, too, not just the teams.

    If image is everything, wouldn’t Nike be in a fantastic position to help re-make the images for the leagues? They could promote the “just like you” clean athletes.

    If the shoe companies and other advertisers are relying on athletes to sell their products, maybe they could promote athletes that are clean. No, I’m not asking for more Peyton Manning commercials. But I doubt we’ll see any asterisks next to his name when his career is done.


  3. As far as apologies go I’d have to rate it an A+, but the only one I have to compare it to is Giambi’s so maybe it’s only good on a relative basis. It is refreshingly sans spin, but does that excuse lying about it for years? Why can’t athletes get some good advice – the response to a question about have you ever used performance enhancing drugs is ” … no comment, there are drug testing procedures in place and I’ll let the results speak for themselves”. It’s one thing to cheat in athletics, that’s always been part of the game, it’s quite something else to lie to the justice department – again bad advice as the Fifth Amendment doesn’t carve out an exception for athletes. Yes, taking the fifth or issuing a no comment would have been bad for her public persona, her marketing image, her cash flow ability…but you see that’s the problem to begin with. We’ve created a reward system that is disproportionate to the benefit earned.

    We get excited and proud when an athlete from our country wins, because we’ve always valued taking what talent you do have and working as hard as you can to become the best you can, perhaps better than anyone. It’s what we teach and want our kids to be – just do your best honey. But Daddy, even if I do the girl next to me is juiced so it won’t matter. So as parents we have a ton of work to do, as for Marion, there must be consequences – we need to be able to point to someone and say see, it’s not worth it…just do your best honey, it’s all that matters to me and eventually, to you too.

    South Windsor, CT

  4. Crocodile “I got caught” tears. Does anyone really believe her plea deal is the whole truth ? Question: isn’t one of her Olympic medals for a relay ? Does the entire relay team forfit and return their medals ?

  5. Do you think we will ever get an apology from Barry Bonds?

    They may be crocodile tears as it has been said, but at least there is somke sincerity and an apology.


  6. I will accept her apology and give her the benefit of the doubt that it was sincere. Just b/c she was backed into a corner doesn’t mean the apology wasn’t genuine.

    But I do believe that actions have consequences, and even though she apologized & accepted responsibility, she should be punished.

    Her medals should be taken away and given to the rightful owners, & it should be done AS SOON AS THE 1972 U.S. MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM GETS THEIR GOLD MEDALS. If you are going to go back and change injustices, you should start there.

  7. I don’t know what the answers are.
    I now no longer take cycling seriously.
    I now firmly believe that performance enhancing drugs do enhance performance significantly (I was doubtful before, as to how effective these methods (There are so many!) could be). In the end its all about money, you’d be surprised what a top cyclist can “earn”, I was.
    What is amazing is the health risks, that these “athletes” are willing to subject themselves to.

  8. My only problem with the way Marion Jones handled her apology/mea culpa is that she felt compelled to serve up one more lie when she said that she had been told that it was FLAX SEED OIL, thus, by inference, it really wasn’t her fault. This is what I call the 90% apology. We all know she wittingly took ‘roids to improve her performances, which translated into millions of dollars in endorsement and appearance fees. So why can’t she just admit that she voluntarily used the banned substances under the assumption/hope/belief that she would not be caught.. If she really had been secretly, against her will, infused with steroids, imagine the lawsuit she would have already filed against the culprit(s) for, in essence, physically poisoning her and ruining her reputation, as well as causing her to be banished from her career/profession. Of course, if there was anyone on earth she could publicly blame and hold responsible for her tumble from grace, she would already have done it. Marion, we need just a little more honesty to go with your contrition.

  9. So if she keeps the medals, what does that say to all others that follow. If you cheat and get away with it, you get to keep the medals. Then after a statute of limitations expires, you can come forward and clear your conscious. I don’t buy it.

    Strip her of her medals. Award them to the next place finishers. Place a big asterisk next to her name.

    I’ll forgive her, but I don’t want it forgotten.

  10. This is a fake apology. If you believe that she would ever have apologized without foreknowledge that the truth was coming out anyway, then you’re a complete idiot. Marion Jones lied about her steroid use for years, even having the gall to drag other people into the muck in a cheap and ignoble effort to give the appearance of truly righteous indignation. Her lying was bad enough, but what makes it worse was the high and mighty, incredibly angry “who me?” manner of denial. She deserves zero credit for her phony “apology.”

  11. A member of the relay team, Passion Richardson, that won a bronze medal with Marion Jones on it does not want to return the medal. She says she is clean and deserves to keep it. While I agree that it sucks, but she competed on a tainted team, willingly or not. If you remove Marion Jones, would they have still won a medal? While not Richardson says it is not fair to her, neither is it fair to the 4th place team that was clean. All the medals need to be returned to be fair. Her beef then is with Jones. Can Jones then be sued? Doubt there is any damages to sue for in this case as only Jones reputation is being tainted.

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