Even on 'Oprah,' the truth and Marion Jones don't mix
In a sudden spasm of honestly delivered thought, designer-drug guru Victor Conte last year told a reporter Marion Jones ought to be allowed to keep her five medals from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, an endeavor in which history already has recorded Jones as a convicted liar and a cheat.His reason? "In my opinion, the overwhelming majority of athletes Marion competed against in 2000 were also using performance-enhancing substances," Conte said. It's a level playing field, so long as you're counting by the needle and the flaxseed-oil capsule. Still: Hear, hear. The man who designed the cheating drugs was just about the first to stand up on his two hind legs and suggest what everyone else was thinking. Of course, he only said it after he got caught. And as Jones' squirm-inducing appearance on "Oprah" this week suggests, the truth remains in staggeringly short supply in this era of the runaway cheat. In Marion's case, she can't even come clean after having come clean, if you follow me. Last year, Jones admitted to federal investigators that she lied when she told them she had never used performance-enhancing drugs as an athlete. In fact, she lied and lied and lied and well, you were there. You either read or saw most of Jones' multiple in-your-face denials of the drug charges that first started following her around in high school and carried on through both the 2000 and 2004 Games.
Mark Kreidler's book "Six Good Innings", about the pressure of upholding a small-town Little League legacy, is in national release. His book "Four Days to Glory" has been optioned for film/TV development by ESPN Original Entertainment. A regular contributor to ESPN.com, Kreidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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