What has become of Marion Jones and Maria Luisa Calle?
We’ve all heard the phrase “cheaters never prosper”, but we have very few opportunities to see the phrase in action. This was the case with former Olympic athletes Marion Jones (track and field), and Maria Luisa Calle (cycling). Although neither actively cheated in their competition's respectively, both have been found to have been using performance enhancing drugs (or PED’s) during their competitive histories and were punished for doing so.
For Marion Jones, an incredible showing at Sydney, Australia’s 2000 Summer Olympics led to 5 medals including 3 Gold, and 2 Silver. This was the first performance rescinded when it was then found Jones had lied about her steroid use before the event. Jones had to give up her medals from each event beyond the 2000 Summer Olympics, costing her relay teammates their medals as well. Jones was forced to publically apologize and stated “It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust.”
For Maria Luisa Calle, an astonishing Gold medal was won at the age of 43 within the Pan American Games individual time trial. Calle had tested positive for drugs before, although the results were then found to be false. With this doubt circling Calle, many thought she was being given an unfair reputation for such false results. And then, they were no longer false. At the 2015 Pan American Games, it was found that Maria Luisa Calle had tested positive for a banned substance, known as Pralmorelin. Calle was then banned from the sport for a minimum of four years.
Although one must always keep an open mind in response to allegations like these, the eventual proof ensures that these cheaters shouldn’t prosper.