6 Oct 2007

Falling from grace

Marion Jones was no doubt one of my favourite female athletes. I always look forward to see her making another come back after the urine test done on her B Sample last year showed no trace of drugs. But looks like there will never ever be a come back from her this time around.

But is she an intended cheater or just a victim? She wrote a letter to close friends and relatives a week before she appeared in court (for the guilty confession) and this is the excerpts from what she had written

“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…..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.” (Click here to read the whole letter)

What she did is nothing more than a white-lie. The trouble is she did it in court! White-lie, pink-lie or any-other-coloured-lie is considered lying if you’re in court…right! Nevertheless since there will be no more come back from Miss Jones I think I can look forward to another event, which is the movie version of this whole episode! (biasalah kan kalau di Amerika they sure will turn this kind of story into a movie).

P/s: There was a similar incident in our local sport scene a couple of years back when a young aspiring weightlifter was found doping. He said his coach gave him a mysterious supplement that results in the tracing of steroids in his urine sample. I'm not sure if the coach himself was sentenced by the court. If it is true coaches should face the music themselves and shouldn't be simply let off scott free.