I found it very gratifying to see American sprinter Marion Jones give up the five medals she won at the Sydney Olympics and accepted a two-year ban. I'm just disappointed on how long she took to admit it. She made millions on endorsements, race prizes and appearance fees. I doubt she will ever have to give any of that back. So she gave up the glory but not the cash.
I think back on the American media and sport establishment that was so critical of the East German medal machine in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then the German female swimmers were so broad-shouldered and muscle-bound, that there was no doubt they were cheating. At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, East German athletes won 40 gold medals — twice as many as in 1972 — including 11 of 13 golds in women's swimming events.
But after the Berlin Wall fell, the truth emerged: the young athletes were subjected to a state-run program of heavy steroid use. In 1998 former East German coaches, trainers and officials faced criminal charges. The former athletes continue to face health problems, and lingering doubts about what they thought had been their finest hours.
Not much has changed since then except the flags of the cheaters.