Muscle Sport Magazine

Marion Jones …Tells All?

By Leigh Penman

And so it came to pass last week that Marion Jones decided to place herself in front of the talk show high priestess, Oprah Winfrey, and tell “all” about her brush with the law and imprisonment for anabolic steroid use during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

But did she really tell the truth this time around or was it simply a case of trying to crawl her way back into the publics’ hearts?

Well, during the interview Marion looked down a lot when formulating her answers to Oprah’s questions. Now, any student of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) would tell you that this was a sign of searching her feelings and emotions for the appropriate response. However, it could also just be a sign that she was avoiding too much eye contact with Winfrey as she considered her answers (and we don’t need to be students of body science to figure out why).

Fair enough she does admit to lying during the BALCO steroid investigation (but we already know that!) commenting that when faced with a vial of the substance known as ‘the clear’ and asked whether she had indeed taken it she, “made the decision that I was going to lie and I was going to, you know, try and cover it up.”

However, the fact that a seasoned athlete like herself claims to have thought that the substance she was talking was “flaxseed oil” is a little hard to believe. I mean, you can just see her now, “Wow guys, this flaxseed oil is amazing! Have you noticed the way my muscles are growing and my recovery rate has improved since I started taking it? Not to mention the fact that my track performances have spiked beyond belief!”

If that were the case you would have to camp outside GNC the night before they received a shipment in order to secure a bottle of this miracle oil!

She also claimed that BALCO mastermind Victor Conte was lying when he said he taught her how to use performance enhancing drugs telling Oprah, “There are lots of reasons why people lie…I don’t know specifically why he would lie.”

No kidding Marion and, to put it even better, why he would lie so ‘specifically’. I mean in an earlier statement Conte detailed his ‘coaching’ of Jones in the use of human growth hormone by saying the following:

“I sat down with Marion Jones in my hotel room at the Embassy Suites in West Covina. I showed her something I had brought with me called a Novapen. It was a cartridge injection pen that contained 45 units of Norditropin growth hormone. The injector contained enough liquid for 10 injections. I instructed her how to inject herself with 4.5 units of growth hormone and told her to follow the same protocol three times per week. I taught her to change the needle, dial up the dosage, disperse any air in the chamber, and inject the drug.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I think this is a pretty complex procedure for the consumption of flax seed oil (or creatine and vitamins which she also ‘admits’ taking). I thought you just unscrewed the lid, pulled out a capsule, put it in your mouth and swallowed it. Who knew it could be such a complicated process?!

The whole point of the Oprah show seemed to be to provide a platform for Jones to portray herself as a victim, a poor naive, impressionable athlete who should have been more careful in choosing friends and advisors.

Well, you can believe what you will. Did Oprah buy Marion’s story? Well, lets just say she must have had to put in some serious eyeball training to stop them from rolling throughout the hour-long interview!

N.B. Jones is on probation and had to get special permission to appear on the Oprah Show.

Leigh Penman, in addition to be a staff writer at MuscleSport Mag, has been writing for bodybuilding magazines, websites and nutritional supplement companies since 1985. Whilst residing in the UK, she earned the reputation of being one of the top female writers in bodybuilding-related media. Her credits included being a contributing editor on all the magazines in production as well as filling the shoes of Ladies Editor and Showbiz Editor on two publications (the later being on Arnold’s sanctioned magazine, ‘Bodypower’). During this time she also competed successfully on four occasions (placing in the top four in all contests).

Relocating to New York in the late 1990s she focused her writing attention to crystal healing techniques and metaphysics – however, she still maintained a five day workout schedule during this time and gained her personal training certificate.

Having also studied pharmacology in relation to sports performance, her writing began taking her in that direction until the present day which sees her embarking on a return to the magazine world, as well as extending her web-related work in the bodybuilding and fitness field.

Leigh has been working out for close to thirty years so she is clearly a writer who ‘walks her talk.’
She can be contacted personally at or you can also check her out at New York’s favorite metaphysical store

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