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Marion Jones

Marion Jones has admitted to using steroids in the 2000 Olympics and returned the medals she received. It’s a sad end to a story that’s been unfolding for several years now involving Jones and various doping allegations that have arisen over the past couple years, and has extended far past Jones’ own misconduct to the use of performance enhancers in all sports.

What’s perplexing me, though, is the praise that some have given her. I’ve read and heard some people call her courageous while complimenting her for “standing up” and “doing the honorable thing.”

And yet, I’m reminded of something that former US Congressman Steven Derounian said during the Committee hearings in the late 1950s involving the question of whether or not the Quiz Shows airing on broadcast networks in primetime were actively engaging in a fraud by fixing the results of their shows.

Charles Van Doren, one of the more famous contestants on the television show “21”, read a statement after months of investigation and testimony in which he finally admitted that there was wrongdoing, that he was made aware of questions well before they were asked, and that he took part in fixing the outcomes. Several Committee members commented on the statement, which was eloquent and sounded remorseful.

When it got to Derounian, he had this to say:

“I’m happy that you’ve made the statement. But I cannot agree with most of my colleagues. See, I don’t think an adult of your intelligence should be commended for simply, at long last, telling the truth.”

There’s still a ring of truth to that. I’m glad she’s finally come forward and admitted what many have always suspected, and helped further expose the use of doping agents in sports both professional and amateur. However, I don’t think I would go so far as to praise somebody who compromised the integrity of an entire sport and denied doing so for years for “simply, at long last, telling the truth.”

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  1. October 11, 2007 at 3:46 am

    I know nobody who could have said that better, or at least nobody who bothered to.

  2. October 11, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Well said.

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