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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 8, 2007 / 26 Tishrei 5768

Once upon a time, we trusted our athletes

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | TO: All kids

FROM: A sportswriter


It wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, the sports world didn't have handcuffs, fingerprints and indictments. Once upon a time, we didn't have steroids, human growth hormone or dog fighting.


Once upon a time, we really did just watch the games. We kept score at home, we dreamed about catching foul balls, and when someone won something, we believed they won it. We didn't wait for the urinalysis.


Once upon a time, when a woman like Marion Jones captured three gold medals at an Olympic Games - including the treasured 100-meter race, making her "the fastest woman in the world" - she came home wearing those medals around her neck and everybody cheered. We didn't hear words like "steroids," "masking agents" or "the Clear."


We just believed our eyes.


Once upon a time, the sports world wasn't the way it was last week, kids, and it's important you know that, because otherwise you might wonder why people bother with sports at all.


Last week, Jones - who made a second career out of insisting she was clean, always had been clean, and would sue those who claimed she wasn't clean - admitted that she wasn't clean. She admitted using banned substances before winning her golds in the 2000 Sydney Games.


And, once again, those of us who remember a different sports world wondered how things fell apart so fast.


THE SHOT PUTTER AND THE SPRINTER
I've met Marion Jones. I not only covered her races, asked her questions, marveled at her skill - but also hosted her on a radio program six years ago. She arrived with her then-husband, C.J. Hunter, a shot putter. At the time, Hunter was facing charges of using banned substances and failing drug tests - and Jones was livid. She defended him up and down.


"We're confident in the very near future C.J.'s name will be cleared," she said on the air that day. "We've found out a lot of information in the past couple of months on people that are not doing the right things in this sport and so we plan on getting it all out in the open."


As it turned out, Hunter's name was not cleared. He retired. He and Jones divorced. And a few years later, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Hunter told investigators that he had injected Jones with a banned substance before the 2000 Olympics and that he saw her inject herself as well. He also claimed she had HGH and a substance known as "the Clear" with her at the Olympics.


Again, Jones was livid. She claimed Hunter was an angry ex with an ax to grind. Her lawyer at the time made this emphatic statement: "She has never, ever used performance-enhancing drugs."


But now she admits she has.


In fact, she admits using "the Clear."


It didn't used to be like this.

THE UNWORTHY RUNNER-UP
Marion Jones is not the first to make headlines this way and she won't be the last. But for some reason, her admission seems to really sting. Perhaps because she was so adamant all these years. Perhaps because it comes on the heels of Barry Bonds' steroid shadow sapping the joy out of a home run record or last year's Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, being stripped of his title for failing a drug test.


Perhaps because, if Jones is stripped of her 100-meter gold, it will go to the second-place finisher, Greece's Ekaterini Thanou. And you want to believe that at least justice will be served.


Except that Thanou, four years later, was accused of staging a motorcycle accident to avoid a drug test at the Athens Games and was subsequently banned from competition for two years.


Who's clean? Who can you believe? When is someone banging a fist on a table still lying? When is the most impassioned cry of "I'm innocent" still just an act?


I don't know. All I know is these kinds of questions didn't used to be part of the sports world. Neither did beakers, labs or the FBI.


You should know this, kids, because you are probably shrugging off Marion Jones as just another athlete who did what athletes will do. And the fact that you shrug it off?


That's what scares us older folks the most. .

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