Thursday, September 07, 2006

Marion Jones, the Envy of Floyd Landis Fans Everywhere

Yesterday, Marion Jones' "B" sample from the U.S. Nationals in June tested clean. After winning the 100m event at the Nationals it was made public that her "A" sample had tested positive for EPO.

Previously, Jones had come under suspicion of doping because of her relationship with Barry Bonds co-hort, Victor Conte, and because her ex-husband, C.J. Hunter, had tested positive for steroids four times while they were married. Hunter also reportedly testified that he personally injected Jones with banned substances.

While this clean "B" sample result is great news for Jones and her supporters, it's not good news for Floyd Landis and the fans that he has left.

I'm pretty sure that if there was a list of people who would be targets of any type of doping "conspiracy" that Marion Jones would be on it. Due to her interaction with Conte and BALCO she was uninvited to all European events in '05. Because of her ex-husband's testimony more and more rumors circulated that she had been doping. However, until June she had never tested positive for any banned substances. If there was ever a perfect time for someone to bring down Jones it was now. Instead, her second sample proves to be clean, and leaves many of her critics twisting in the wind.

Landis however, "failed" both the "A" and "B" tests. He offered numerous explanations, including: naturally high testosterone; drinking alcohol(my personal favorite); dehydration; thyroid medication; and a conspiracy against him. One of the only aspects that might have merit is the reputation of the lab that processed the samples. The Ch√Ętenay-Malabry lab came under scrutiny from the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations after releasing only Lance Armstrong's results from a sample experiment in 1999. Many conspiracy proponents point to the fact that the lab is part of the French National Government as a reason for why/how someone would tamper with the Landis samples(it's their belief that the French hate American cyclists).

Unfortunately, I have doubts as to whether or not Landis would be a target of a doping conspiracy. He was a relatively unknown participant, though his "victory" did thrust USA cycling back into the spotlight. However, it's never been established that he had any type of relationship with someone like Victor Conte, nor was he ever close to someone who had tested positive for banned substances in the past.

It doesn't seem like the type of setup that individuals would risk their careers/reputations over to "take down" a person like Landis. It wouldn't be nearly as easy as it would be to "tamper" with Marion Jones' "B" sample after her "A" sample had tested positive, and she had been linked to individuals dealing in steroids.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've linked to this from my roundup of Landis news at trust but verify. Landis appears to be getting ready to say the lab screwed up, with details how, on monday.

TBV

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