Thursday, April 10, 2008

Throwing out the baby with the bathwater

Strangely, I was waiting to see if the IOC was going to do this, and they did: they are stripping the medals from Marion Jones' teammates due to her use of PEDs during the 2000 Olympics. I call this bullcrap. It flat out stinks. There's no way to know if these other three women were PED-free or not, but to strip them of the golds is just cruel.

My way of bringing it to a baseball analogy: Can you imagine if Selig stripped the Yanks (or any other team, for that matter) of their WS title(s) for the teams which had any player that was proven (let's say the Mitchell Report qualifies as "proof") to have taken PEDs? Can you imagine the outcry? The chest beating?

Jones' teammates had previously refused to give up their medals, saying it would be wrong to punish them for her violations. They have hired a U.S. lawyer to defend their case, which could wind up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"The decision was based on the fact that they were part of a team, that Marion Jones was disqualified from the Sydney Games due to her own admission that she was doping during those games," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. "She was part of a team and she competed with them in the finals."

Now, I readily recognize that one woman (Jones) represented 25% of the winning team and no team sport can have one player account for that much, but I just don't think it's fair to penalize the team. Especially since we have no idea if the silver medal winning team was 100% clean, either. We have to presume they were, of course, but to try to take the golds back is not right. If you, the IOC, want to award golds to the silver medalists, silvers to the bronze, etc., that's fine. Create a few more medals and charge it to the USOC. Better yet, charge it to Jones. Just let the women keep the golds.

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