Marion Jones : Aging with the burden of Insolvency & Bankruptcy – BANKRUPT ATHLETE Series

The previous article on bankrupt-athletes, namely, on the life and career of Mike Gerard Tyson, who became the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of professional boxing at the age of 20, and known for his explosive power and quick knock-outs dominating professional boxing in the late 1980s before  being  sidetracked by personal problems and criminal charges, is the case-study of typical male athlete in the contact-sport of boxing going from bad to worse, followed by insolvency, and legal declaration of bankruptcy to prevent creditors from pursuing their legal claims against him of forfeiture, attachment and sale of property, and worse still, suffering liability of civil imprisonment until the full and complete settlement of debts.

Let’s look at similar fall from grace of female athlete who had everything, youthful-beauty, public and private relationships with fans, and adoring admirers, and monetary wealth from prize-money & endorsements, including the university education in journalism, and then losing it all to cheating & fraud in professional sport of track & field.

Track & field athlete Marion Jones who publicly- declared her goal of winning 5 gold medals at the 2000 summer Olympic-games in Sydney, Australia, something that had not been accomplished in track & field since Finland’s Paavo Nurmi did it in 1924, and then coming close to her objective by winning 3 gold medals, but managing to win only 2 other bronze medals in the 4 × 100-meter relay and the long jump. Marion Jones winning margins in the 100- and 200-meter finals were the largest in decades, however. Marion Jones time of 10.75 seconds in the 100-meter sprint was the fastest Olympic-time in that race since American Florence Griffith Joyner ran it in 10.62 seconds in 1988 who held the world record in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events, records that Marion Jones vowed to try to break.

Following this performance Marion Jones won numerous accolades, including the Associated-Press female athlete of the year.

However, succeeding this glory, Marion Jones former husband, and then coach CJ Hunter — the world-class shot-putter — who tested positive  for steroids at the 2000 summer Olympic-games testified u/oath that he had seen Marion Jones inject steroids into her stomach during the summer Olympic-games, which allegations Marion Jones denied before both the press and two grand juries. 

Suspected of Drug-abuse

Then and before Marion Jones accomplishments had been increasingly shadowed by charges that her accomplishments were achieved with the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The suspicions of drug use date back to the 2000 summer Olympic-games in Sydney, Australia, when CJ Hunter tested positive for steroids. Marion Jones denied using any illegal substances herself and passed all her drug tests.

The suspicions of drug use date back to the 2000 summer Olympic-games in Sydney, Australia, when CJ Hunter tested positive for steroids. Marion Jones denied using any illegal substances herself and passed all her drug tests.

In 2002 the rumours were revived when Marion Jones and her then boy-friend, US-sprinter Tim Montgomery, began training with the coach who had previously-worked with Ben Johnson, the Canadian track-star who was stripped-of his 1988 Olympic gold-medal and eventually banned from the sport for using steroids.

After several months of controversy, Marion Jones and her boy-friend, US-sprinter Tim Montgomery severed relations with the coach who had previously-worked with Ben Johnson.

A year later, in 2003 both Marion Jones and her then boy-friend, us-sprinter Tim Montgomery testified before the grand-jury  in the investigation of Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative [BALCO], the California, USA sports-nutrition company suspected of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to a number of high-profile-athletes, that never used nor distributed performance-enhancing drugs, holding themselves liable for perjury, and contempt of court.

In july-2004 CJ Hunter tested positive for steroids at the 2000 summer Olympic-games told federal-investigators that Marion Jones had taken illegal-drugs at the 2000 summer Olympic-games.

That the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] formed by the International Olympic-Committee [IOC] to coordinate its drug-policy programme and drug-testing programme [program], announced it was investigating the charges.

Marion Jones was allowed to compete in Athens, Greece, summer Olympic-games after Marion Jones threatened to sue if she was barred from competing in the summer Olympic-games.

In December-2004 the grand-jury testimony of Bay-Area Laboratory Co-operative [BALCO], the California, USA sports-nutrition company founder Victor Conte was leaked, and in it BALCO-founder Victor Conte named Marion Jones as one of the athletes who used illegal-drugs supplied by his company: Bay-Area Laboratory [laboratory] Co-operative [BALCO].

Marion Jones continued to deny using any illegal-substances and later that month filed the defamation-suit against BALCO-founder Victor Conte which defamatory-disclosure was neither protected by right to privacy nor confidentiality agreement but was open testimony before the tribunal, and backed by evidence, and which defamation-suit was destined to fail.

Confession to drug-abuse

Marion Jones eventually confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs in 2007 and it cost her everything. Not only was Marion Jones forced to forfeit all of the gold & bronze medals she had won in Sydney, Australia at the 2000 summer Olympic games but she was also sentenced to 6-months imprisonment in prison.

Marion Jones’ earnings of $80,000 per race, as well as $1 million in endorsements were all spent in legal- expenses defending her rights in court from imprisonment, and loss of income from prize-monies and endorsements, and not only were her $2.5 million home in North Carolina, USA foreclosed, attached & sold to satisfy and discharge the settlement of debts, but she was forced to sell her mothers’ house as well…

Author – Arjun J. Chaudhuri

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