On Erasing Marion Jones' Records


In Stalinist Russia, one of the ways that Mr. Stalin kept control was the rewriting or unwriting of history. There are books of photographs where Stalin or his KGB had famous people taken out of the pictures or their names removed from history texts..
is there something similar to this with the Marion Jones saga?

Look, I am all for Marion Jones getting her due. I do find it hypocritical that after Marion, that Barry Bonds is being still treated with such kid gloves. Marion Jones, in my mind, was used to show Mr. Bonds how much of his legacy can go away. Face it, great athletes have egos. We all do. But the ego where anything is worth lying completely to the world and one self must be enormous. When the lie is found out, the truth must be shattering.

So, the IAAF and IOC are looking like they will erase Marion jones from the record books. I understand what they are trying to do, but I respectfully ask that they not do that. Erasing Jones' records means that people, in time, will forget the shame the she brought on herself, her family and friends, her teammates and her country. That should never be forgotten. It is one of the greatest lessons of all-shame.

When rumours of Jones' use of drugs began years ago, I tried to think otherwise. I had known Marion's athleticism since 1991-2, and she was such a tough athlete in high school. I wanted to believe that she could do it all, without using drugs. I still believe that she could. What I do not like is the number of times people have come up and said how much of hack Marion Jones is. That is the wrong message. Jones was a talented athlete who felt she needed something GUARANTEED. Being one of the best, and taking it on the chin, win or loose, was not in the cards. Perhaps, Marion Jones wanted to be first, wanted to be the best too much.

By erasing Marion Jones records, are we doing anything different than what happened in the old Soviet Union? Rewriting history?

When I was studying history in college, my professors, students of their specialties all, told me to never rewrite history, but to be a thoughtful observer of it.

The lesson from Marion Jones, and reason why she should be asterisked in the track and field books? Marion Jones made a choice to cheat, did it, and was caught. Her career has all been questioned now, and rightfully so. The lesson that one young athlete can learn from her, that one young athlete will decide that he or she does not want to become a Marion Jones will bring some good from this tragedy. But the good will come ONLY if somehow, the sad story of Marion Jones is not taken from the history of sports books.

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