She Can Run, But She Can't Hide

Over the weekend, we've watched the denouement of the Marion Jones story, as she pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators regarding her taking steroids prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She has now returned the medals that she won at that Olympics and has been stripped of the victories. She's looking at jail time. She has gone from being a national heroine to being a poster child for cheaters who will do anything to win, including risking their health by taking dangerous and illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

She's not alone, of course. Other athletes like cyclist Floyd Landis have recently had the same thing happen, and there are numerous baseball players under a cloud of suspicion, including current career home run leader* Barry Bonds and former slugger Mark McGwire, who was denied entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his initial year of eligibility. These athletes, and a host of others, all share one thing in common: They believed that they were so clever that they wouldn't get caught. It turned out that they weren't half as clever as they thought they were.

Americans don't like cheaters and liars. When these athletes cheated and told us that they weren't using performance-enhancing drugs, they lied to us. They set a bad example for our children. They let us down. And when you saw Marion Jones giving her mea culpa over the weekend, you could tell that she knew that she had let us all down.

Say it ain't so, Marion. Say it ain't so, Floyd and Barry and Mark.

I'm sorry, kid. I'm afraid it is.