Friday, October 5, 2007
5 Medals, 5 Pills
Back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, Marion Jones was on top of the podium, if not the world. The three golds and two bronzes that she won in track and field were a record for most medals won by a female athlete at a single Olympics. Today she pleaded guilty to using steroids prior to her performance in Australia, ending years of speculation, accusation and denial. Of all the things that people in the sports world were saying, I found Victor Conte's statement most telling. Conte, the founder of BALCO, the laboratory that produced and provided steroids to a slew of athletes, who was sued by Jones after he accused her of doping said to the media, "I don't feel any sense of vindication. All of us have made poor decisions in our lives and suffered the consequences." My heart goes out to Marion, who shed tears in a New York courtroom. Her once good name in ruins, she will soon be stripped of her five medals. Every day I take five pills, the result of a very poor decision to engage in unsafe sex. But the day I started taking those pills was the start of a brand new life for me. I can only pray that Marion will come to see that a life without those five medals will also be a chance at a clean start. Wherever you are tonight Marion, know that you will suffer the consequences, but also know that you can find forgiveness.