>I heard the news today. Oh, boy.
Marion Jones admitted using steroids before the 2000 Olympics in a recent letter to close family and friends, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
It’s been a busy time lately; I’m coaching, my house is up for sale, and just a few minutes ago I was helping my wife proofread the final draft of her doctoral dissertation. So I only got the story second-hand as my brother called me this afternoon with the basics. She didn’t just up and admit this for no reason; Trevor Graham is going on trial and she was going to have to testify. Obviously she could no longer keep the genie in the bottle.
That Jones used performance-enhancing drugs is a shocker on the level of, say, the US Government explicitly allowing torture. Denying either strained credulity long before we had the official information. And in both instances the real question is, “What now?” What official sanctions will be taken in order to punish the offenders?
Will the IOC strip her of her medals at the 2000 Olympics? What about the IAAF and her achievements at World Championships and the like? How will the various and sundry statisticians of the sport amend their lists? Will Track & Field News amend its World Rankings?
A key to answering all these questions is the IAAF’s statute of limitations enacted in the wake of the Dubin Inquiry (aka the Ben Johnson affair). At that time it was set at six years; currently it is at eight years (see Rule 44, pp. 65-66). While no specific date was set in Jones’ statement, it states her actions began in 1999, probably just outside the eight-year window, but that it definitely continued on through 2000 and therefore within the time frame for official sanctions. Statisticians and T&FN‘s Rankings committee, however, are free to act as they wish. Not a peep yet from any of them.