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Jones’ Teammates Refuse To Give Up Medals

Marion Jones Olympic relay team medals revoked

As you've likely heard, Olympic sprinter Marion Jones admitted to taking steroids in October of this year. Subsequently, Jones was required to forfeit all of her Sydney medals and sentenced to 6 months in jail for lying in U.S. District Court.

In the case of Jones, the punishment is rather clear: you cheat, you pay. But there is a very interesting dilemma when you consider her relay teammates. Should they be allowed to keep there medals? You may argue that they haven't done anything wrong, which is quite true, but would they still have one the medals without Jones' illegal help?

The International Olympic Committee is currently debating this very question after The International Association of Athletics Federations requested that all U.S. athletes give up the Olympic medals they won via relay teams that included Jones. Some of Jones' teammates have weighed in with their comments

Monique Hennagan, 4x400 member:

"If they ask me to return it, I don't plan to return it. If it's my choice, my choice will be no. I know I have not taken anything that I should not be taking. It's very unfair."

Chryste Gaines, 4x100 member:

"I'm not considering giving anything back. Especially, since no one has contacted me. If the IAAF or IOC contacts me, I still will not give it back. It's not fair to us who didn't do anything."

Their sentiments are understandable. I think the team's margin of victory should play into the decision. If you could hypothetically substitute the team's next best backup runner for Jones and they would still win, then I think they deserve to keep the medals. Of course that is very difficult to predict, and it will never be the reality, so it's a tough decision.