Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marion Jones and Unintended Consequences of Doping

It's a shame that she didn't think beyond herself when she did all of this doping. She has now stained the lives of some of her teammates, who are now being pressured to give up their medals. This to me is the bigger tragedy, because many of these athletes may have been honest and hardworking.

Should they have to give their medals back? I understand why the Olympic officials may want the medals returned, however, I don't know if these athletes should be punished for the wrongs of Marion Jones. A possible alternative approach could be to award the same medal to all of the athletes (and teams) who finished just below Marion's U.S. team, thus allowing them to share the medal.

following report from AP/Yahoo Sports

Marion Jones' relay teammate Passion Richardson wants to keep bronze medal from 2000 Olympics
Oct. 10, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- One of Marion Jones' relay teammates wants to keep the bronze medal she earned with the disgraced sprinter at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

"I competed fairly, and I should not have to suffer the consequences for someone else's bad decisions and choices," Passion Richardson said Wednesday on the CBS "Early Show."

Jones returned her five Sydney Olympic medals Monday after admitting she took steroids. Now the International Olympic Committee must consider whether Jones' relay teammates should lose their medals, too. The IOC executive board next meets in December.

"I'm not happy with the fact that my character is going to now come into question as to whether or not I was using steroids because I wasn't," Richardson said.

Richardson, Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards and Nanceen Perry competed with Jones on the 400-meter relay team. Both Edwards and Gaines have served doping bans since the 2000 Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations has authority over results at the Olympics, while the IOC controls the medals.

Jones won golds in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 1,600 relay in Sydney, as well as bronzes in the 400 relay and long jump.

U.S. Olympic chairman Peter Ueberroth said Monday the relays were tainted because of Jones' presence and all the medals should be returned.

IAAF rules state that all relay team members should be disqualified. However, it's not clear whether that rule was in force during the Sydney Games.

"I mean, you don't know what was going on on the other teams, so how do you really rectify that situation?" Richardson said. "There's really no positive outcome in either way that it goes."

Still, Jamaican Tayna Lawrence, who finished third to Jones in the 100 meters in Sydney, told a Jamaican sports radio show she's glad she knows the truth now.

"I think finally justice is served," said Lawrence, who's retired and has not yet been contacted about upgrading her medal. "There have been speculations for years. I have speculated, a number of people have speculated, and I am just happy that it is out."

1 comment:

rikyrah said...

I know. I had wondered about this - I knew that her individual medals would be taken, but I feel sorry for her relay team members who will now be punished for her actions and robbed of their Olympic glory.