Marion Jones

  • Aired:  11/15/10
  •  | Views: 63,213

Marion Jones becomes a prison reform advocate after serving six months for lying to federal prosecutors about performance-enhancing drugs. (6:47)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, SHE WON FIVE

OLYMPIC MEDALS AT THE SYDNEY

AUSTRALIA GAMES IN 2000 AND

2007.

SHE WAS STRIPPED OF THOSE MEDALS

AND SHE CHRONICLES THE

EXPERIENCE IN HER NEW BOOK "ON

THE RIGHT TRACK: FINDING

FORGIVENESS AND THE STRENGTH TO

OVERCOME AND SUCCEED."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

MARION JONES.

( APPLAUSE )

HOW ARE YOU?

>> I'M DOING GOOD.

THANK YOU.

>> Jon: SO THIS IS SOME STORY.

THIS IS "ON THE RIGHT TRACK."

YOU WERE THE FASTEST WOMAN IN

THE WORLD.

YOU WON ALL THESE GOLD MEDALS.

AT THE TIME YOU WERE DOING IT,

DID YOU... WERE YOU

RATIONALIZING WHAT WAS GOING ON?

LIKE IN YOUR HEAD, HOW WERE YOU

MOVING YOURSELF PAST THE FACT

THAT YOU WERE USING THESE... WAS

IT PURELY STEROIDS?

>> PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS.

WELL, AT THAT TIME AROUND THE

2000 GAMES, BEFORE THE 2000

GAMES I WAS GIVEN THESE

PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS,

AND, YOU KNOW, I TRAINED AND

TRAINED AND WON THESE MEDALS AND

FOUND OUT IN 2003 THAT INDEED

ALL ALONG THAT'S WHAT I HAD BEEN

GIVEN, AND SO IN 2007 I GAVE

THEM ALL BACK.

>> Jon: IN YOUR MIND, I DIDN'T

REALIZE THIS, THIS IS NOT

SOMETHING YOU KNEW ABOUT.

>> THAT'S CORRECT, THAT'S

CORRECT.

>> Jon: THIS CHANGES THINGS IN

SOMEWHAT OF A LARGER CONTEXT

BECAUSE HOW DO YOU END UP

THEN...

>> WELL, IN 2003 THERE WAS THIS

BALCO SCANDAL AND I WAS ASKED BY

FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS TO COME

AND ANSWER WHATEVER QUESTIONS I

MIGHT KNOW ABOUT IT.

WHEN I WAS SHOWN THIS

PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUG, AT

FIRST I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE IT.

AND THEN AFTER A FEW MOMENTS I

RECOGNIZED THAT IT WAS WHAT I

HAD BEEN GIVEN.

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, I MADE A

DECISION TO LIE ABOUT IT.

I LIED ABOUT THE USE OF

PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS.

OF COURSE IT'S AGAINST THE LAW

TO LIE THE FEDERAL PROSECUTORS.

>> Jon: FOR ME THAT'S THE PART

TO IMAGINE.

I IMAGINE THESE ATHLETES AT THE

LEVEL YOU'RE AT, YOU KNOW

EVERYTHING YOU'RE PUTTING IN

YOUR BODY.

ARE YOU GETTING VILES OF STUFF

AND YOU'RE LIKE, I LIKE THE

CLEAR STUFF?

>> NO, NO.

>> Jon: HOW DOES IT WORK?

>> WELL, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHEN I

TELL THEM THIS, THEY'RE LIKE I

DON'T BELIEVE YOU, BUT I LIKE TO

TELL PEOPLE THAT ELITE ATHLETES,

YOU TRUST YOUR INNER CIRCLE.

YOU TRUST YOUR COACHES AND THE

PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

I TRUSTED THE PEOPLE WHO WERE

AROUND ME AND I DIDN'T ASK

QUESTIONS.

AND THAT WAS MY FAULT, YOU KNOW,

I DIDN'T ASK QUESTIONS.

I KNEW I HAD WORKED HARD.

I KNEW I WAS BLESSED WITH AN

ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TALENT AND I

JUST TRUSTED PEOPLE TO THE POINT

THAT IT COST ME MY FREEDOM, YOU

KNOW, IN 2007 I PLEAD GUILTY.

I SERVED SIX MONTHS IN PRISON.

I LOST EVERYTHING.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE INNER CIRCLE.

DID THEY GO TO PRISON?

>> NO.

>> Jon: WHY NOT THE CIRCLE?

IT SEEMS LIKE THE CIRCLE SHOULD

GO TO PRISON?

IT SEEMS LIKE THE PRISON THING

SHOULD GO IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES.

THE OUTER CIRCLE GOES PRISON

FIRST, AND THEN THE INNER CIRCLE

AND THEN FINALLY YOU GET TO THE

DOT IN THE MIDDLE AND YOU GO,

YOU HAVE TO GO NOW.

WHY DON'T THEY HAVE TO GO TO

PRISON?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MY OWN

CASE.

YOU KNOW, I AGREE WITH YOU.

I THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE

ACCOUNTABILITY.

>> Jon: WERE THEY BROUGHT UP

ON CHARGES AT LEAST?

>> ONE OF THEM I THINK WAS

BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES, AND I

THINK THE CASE WAS DISMISSED OR

SOMETHING OF THAT, BUT I MEAN,

YOU KNOW, IT'S TOUGH.

I MADE THE MISTAKE, SO I HAD TO

PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE.

>> Jon: WHAT ARE YOUR... DID

ANY OF YOUR TEAMMATES ALSO

SUFFER?

RELAY TEAMMATES ALSO SUFFERED.

SO THEY GET TO KEEP THEIR

MEDALS?

>> NO.

THAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE HARDEST

PARTS.

I APOLOGIZED ON THE COURTROOM

STEPS.

I APOLOGIZED TO ALL MY FANS AND

EVERYBODY AROUND THE WORLD.

IT'S SOMETHING I MENTIONED IN

THE BOOK.

IT'S HARD TO FIND THAT

FORGIVENESS.

EVERY DAY I WAKE UP KNOWING I

HURT SO MANY PEOPLE, BUT IT'S

ALSO WHY I WROTE THE BOOK

BECAUSE I WANT TO SHOW PEOPLE

THERE'S A WAY TO GET OUT OF ALL

THAT AND MAKE BETTER DECISIONS

IN YOUR LIFE.

AND I'VE TURNED MY LIFE AROUND

IN A TWO AND A HALF YEAR SPAN.

I'M SO PROUD TO BE A MOTHER OF

THREE.

I'VE MADE THE WNBA AND I'M

HELPING PEOPLE MAKE BETTER

DECISIONS IN YOUR OWN LIVES.

>> Jon: HAVE YOUR TEAMMATES

CONTACTED YOU.

HAVE THEY SAID, I GET IT?

THEY'RE PROBABLY, IF WHAT YOU'RE

SAYING IS TRUE, THEY UNDERSTAND

THE INNER SICKLE, TAKE WHAT YOU

TAKE THING, I WOULD THINK, OR

ARE THEY STILL...

>> NONE OF THEM HAVE REACHED OUT

THE ME.

I APOLOGIZED TO EVERYBODY AND...

>> Jon: THE PRISON THING IS

CRAZY.

WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH IN PRISON,

EVEN IF YOU TOOK IT PURPOSEFULLY

AND THEN LIED ABOUT IT AND THEN

SHOT AN OLD MAN IN THE FACE,

WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH IN PRISON

IS ASTONISHING.

>> A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK IT WAS

A SLAP ON THE WRIST.

AND I TELL THEM THAT IT

ABSOLUTELY WASN'T.

I SPENT MORE THAN 45 DAYS IN

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR LYING

TO FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS.

AND I WAS AWAY FROM MY FAMILY.

>> Jon: YOU WERE IN SOLITARY

CONFINEMENT BECAUSE... ONE OF

YOUR BUNK MATES...

>> ATTACKED ME.

>> Jon: ONE OF YOUR CABIN

MATES ATTACKED YOU OVER A

LAUNDRY SITUATION.

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

IN PRISON YOU DON'T KNOW, SO LET

ME SHARE WITH YOU...

>> Jon: DON'T I?

( LAUGHTER )

>> YOU DO CERTAIN FAVORS IN

PRISON FOR EACH OTHER, AND WE

DON'T DEAL WITH MONEY, SO WE

HAVE MONEY ON OUR COMMISSARY.

SO I HAD A ROOMMATE HELPING ME

WITH MILAN DRIMENT SHE DIDN'T

LIKE THAT I DIDN'T WANT HER TO

DO MILAN DRI ANYMORE.

SO SHE WAS UPSET ABOUT THAT.

SHE ATTACKED ME.

I HAD TO DEFEND MYSELF.

SO BECAUSE OF THEY WAS IN

SOLITARY FOR 45-PLUS DAYS.

>> IF YOU WERE TO SAY TO HER,

USE YOUR WORDS, NO?

>> THAT WASN'T GOING DOWN MANY

PRISON.

>> Jon: IT REALLY DOES FOR

WHATEVER PEOPLE FIND FAULT WITH

OR WHAT THEY THINK YOU DID OR

DIDN'T DO, THIS DOES MAKE YOU

WANT TO READJUST THE PENAL

SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY AND

FIGURE OUT HOW SOMEONE IN THAT

SITUATION WHEN WE HAVE SO MANY

GOING ON FINANCIALLY AND

OTHERWISE HOW THOSE PEOPLE AVOID

ANY CULPABILITY.

>> IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE YOU

NEVER KNOW WHERE LIFE IS GOING

TO TAKE YOU.

TEN YEARS AGO I NEVER WOULD HAVE

THOUGHT I WOULD BE A ADVOCATE

FOR PRISON REFORM BECAUSE I

DIDN'T KNOW ANYBODY IN PRISON,

AND YOU REALIZE THAT YOU NEVER

KNOW WHO IS GOING TO BE YOUR

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.

IF YOU DON'T EQUIP THE PEOPLE IN

PRISON WITH THE RESOURCES TO GET

AN EDUCATION SO THAT WHEN THEY

GET OUT THEY CAN BE SUCCESSFUL,

THEY'RE GOING TO WIND UP RIGHT

BACK IN PRISON OR WIND UP BEING

YOUR NEIGHBOR OR WORSE MAYBE

MARRYING YOUR DAUGHTER OR YOUR

SON.

>> Jon: WHAT THE BLIEP BLEEP?

WHAT?

( LAUGHTER )

ANYWAY, YOU GOT TO CHECK THIS

OUT.

"ON THE RIGHT TRACK," IT'S ON

THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

AND IT'S A BOLD THING YOU'RE

DOING.

MA

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