Friday, October 05, 2007

Marian Jones - Doping Scandal

The worst thing about this entire incident isn't that she took performance enhancing drugs. Yes, cheating in an international sports exhibition is bad but whats worse is that she lied about it, not just to the public but to federal investigators, grand juries, twice. For years she denied she used drugs and said she never would. She even wrote about it in her autobiography. And now to hear that she did is more infuriating than if she just admitted to it when the question was first raised.

Why athletes do it? Yes, they may want to win at any cost but taking drugs isn't the answer. Say an athlete does use drugs and does win a gold medal. Surely on some level they must know they didn't really win the race. The drugs did. Personally, that would bother me. I would want to win on my own terms or not at all.

The people I feel sorry for are the children, the athletes of tomorrow and especially America's future athletes that looked up to her as a role model. What are they supposed to think and who are they to look to? How can they put their trust in another athlete after this?

And what about the athletes at the Sydney Olympics? Would they still have finished in the same place had Jones not taken any drugs? Will they be compensated now?

What Jones did was selfish and I sincerely hope they strip her of the medals she won due to her drugs use at the Sydney Olympics. There should be consequences because when one athlete cheats the whole sport suffers.

This should be a message to professional athletes who will do anything to win, not only can drugs screw up your body, they can ruin your life. Jones' career is over and her reputation will be tarnished forever. What she did may fade into the background but the public has a long memory. I was just a toddler during the 1988 Olympics but I know who Ben Johnson is and what he did. What Marian Jones did will follow her for the rest of her life.

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