zipsy zippicun: Marion Jones Roundup

Friday, October 5, 2007

Marion Jones Roundup

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National Post

U.S. track star Marion Jones pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators and taking the steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).

The substance gained infamy in 2003 when it was detected in a number of athletes that year. A number of baseball players also admitted to taking the substance.

The sports Web site Brushback.com has this essay on the drug and how it affected professional sports. 

Marion Jones: A world-class cheat - Independent Online Edition > More Sports

Marion Jones: A world-class cheat

She was the star of the 2000 Olympics. But Marion Jones's impending disgrace for steroid use marks a spectacular fall from grace that poses fundamental questions about her sport.

By Mike Rowbottom, Athletics Correspondent

Published: 06 October 2007

Now that Marion Jones has finally admitted that she has cheated the world of athletics throughout her career, the sad truth emerges. She has cheated herself too.

The 31-year-old sprinter and long jumper pleaded guilty in a New York court yesterday to lying to federal agents about taking steroids on the eve of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, where she won 3 gold and 2 bronze medals. On the steps of the courthouse she then cheerfully announced her retirement from the sport.

Thus one of the longest and most dismal tales in a sport that has been disfigured by doping all too often in recent years reached its denouement.

Given that she was following in the dubious footsteps of her compatriot Florence Griffith-Joyner in the 100 metres event, Jones was always asked about doping, even when she emerged, fresh-faced and ambitious and articulate, as a double world champion in 1997 at the age of 20.

Marion Jones - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marion Jones (born October 12 , 1975 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American athlete and drugs cheat. She is the winner of five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia . She holds dual citizenship from the USA and Belize (her mother's home country). Jones is a 1997 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .

Jones admitted to having taken steroids before the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. This may result in the loss of her 3 gold and 2 bronze 2000 Olympic medals. On October 5, 2007, she pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in the BALCO steroid investigation in the U.S. District Court. [1] She announced her retirement the same day. [2]

Tetrahydrogestrinone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tetrahydrogestrinone (often referred to as THG or The Clear) is an anabolic steroid . It has affinity to the androgen receptor and the progesterone receptor, but not to the estrogen receptor. [1] The drug has been considered a "designer drug", closely related to the banned anabolic steroids gestrinone and trenbolone, [1] and was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the end of 2003.[2]

Structure-activity relationship studies report that the potency of the drug is outstanding, surpassing, on a milligram per milligram basis, every known synthesized or commercial available anabolic steroid at the time of its development. It is a highly potent agonist for the androgen and progesterone receptors, around 10 times more potent than the comparison drugs nandrolone or trenbolone, but with no estrogenic activity. Side effects from prolonged use are likely to include infertility in both men and women, as well as other steroid side effects such as acne and hirsutism. [3]

For a time, THG was considered the drug of choice for safe and "invisible" world record breaking in athletics, being used by several high profile gold medal winners such as the sprinter Marion Jones, who resigned from her athletic career in 2007 after admitting to using THG prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where she had won three gold medals. [4]

The drug was again made public when the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was contacted by an anonymous athletics coach, later identified as Trevor Graham, who claimed that several top athletes were using THG and provided the USDA with a syringe containing THG, which the USADA then used to develop a test for the substance. [5]

THG was developed by Patrick Arnold, of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), an American nutritional supplement company. [6] The company manufactured the drug through palladium-charcoal catalyzed hydrogenation from gestrinone, a substance used in gynecology for treatment of endometriosis. [ citation needed]

THG had been distributed to several leading athletes, including many during the BALCO scandal .

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