The recent declaration by Marion Jones about her involvement in doping should come as no surprise to any of us who have followed sport for the past several decades.
The Marion Jones scenario is merely a repetition of all that has gone before. We have witnessed some remarkable performances from athletes. Some may even suggest that some of the performances are incredible, almost beyond belief. The respective international federations governing the sport at the global level should recognise the dubious nature of the performances but anxious as they are to attract the attention of the media and sell their sport they turn a blind eye to what is clearly evident hiding behind the results of their own incompetent drug testing mechanisms, only to be shamed some time later.
The Marion Jones scandal is not yet even the tip of the iceberg for the sport of track and field athletics and I am certain that in the not too distant future the world of sport will be exposed to several more revelations in an ever-widening number of sports.
Track and Field Shockers
In 1987, the IAAF held its 2nd World Championships in Athletics in Roma, Italy. While the event witnessed the remarkable performance of Edwin Moses struggling to stay ahead of Germany's Schmidt in the 400m Hurdles, there were two more shocking achievements that later rocked the sport of track and field athletics. The first was the scandal that forced the top brass of the Italian Athletic Federation, FIDAL, to resign. It was later proven that Evangelista, the Italian Long Jumper who was credited with a fantastic leap into the bronze medal position, did not in fact achieve the feat for which he was rewarded at the time. An investigation later proved that the Italian officials conspired to ensure that their countryman walked away with a medal.
Rather interestingly, however, the President of FIDAL at the time, Primo Nebiolo, was also president of the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF. While he and several of his Executive members had to relinquish their positions in FIDAL, the IAAF did not deem it fit to call on him to relinquish his position at the helm of the international organisation.