The 400 and 1,600-meter relay teammates of Marion Jones from the 2000 Sydney Games were sucker punched last week when the IOC officially a stripped their medals. Everyone in the track world knew the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision was coming but that doesn’t change the outrage because the decision makes no sense.
Marion’s teammates had no knowledge of Marion’s actions nor were they responsible for her illegal actions. The prudent move by the IOC in this scenario should be to strip Marion of her relay medal. Oh, wait—they already did that.
Marion bashing is a sport that we will leave the “do-nothing” media to play as she serves a 6 month jail term. The people who have been wronged are Marion’s former teammates. Many of the runners are retired from track and are without an opportunity to earn another Olympic medal. Does the act of one athlete outweigh the need of fairness to eight athletes? The answering is a big fat NO! The decision to take the strip their medals is terrible policy and it penalizes the innocent athletes that the IOC is charged with serving.
By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.