I saw a fascinating documentary the other day, in which Marion Jones says she did not deserve going to prison for lying in court. I'd like to go a bit further into the story, and cover how it relates to self improvement...
Marion Jones was the golden girl of athletics, not just for the USA, but seemingly for the whole world.
At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, she won 5 individual medals, an impressive haul by anyone's standards.
Athletics has long been dogged by drugs, increasingly so since the Ben Johnson case, and Jones was never slow in pointing out how many drug tests she had passed.
The suspicions against her grew when her husband athlete was found guilty of doping, and she herself was being coached by someone with a bad reputation.
The coach's dealings ended up in a federal court case, and it turned out that Marion Jones had lied to the jury - for this she was handed a 6 month prison sentence.
In the documentary, Jones does admit that she was in the wrong, but says she did not deserve to go to jail, saying that her message of how she fell from grace and went about redemption would be better than being in jail.
That's complete nonsense to me - her story of redemption works just as well after her jail time, and in fact her high profile meant it was, in my opinion, even more important that she be punished in the same way any non famous person would be.
For her to say she didn't deserve it, does not sound like someone who is far enough down any road of recovering her reputation, compounded by the fact that she still refuses to reveal any more facts about what really happened, despite having plenty of opportunity to do so.
I think integrity is a hugely powerful component of self improvement, that you do not act in a way that you know is wrong.
Let's not forget that Marion Jones never did fail a drug test, but we should also remember that she served a second prison sentence, served at the same time as the first. The second conviction was to do with her involvement with a cash fraud being operated by her second husband.
Not exactly shining examples of integrity, because she knew full well she was not acting in a way that was right. Yes, she is doing a lot of work in helping vulnerable women make better choices, but when she tells them about the power of integrity, I would hope to hear her saying she *did* deserve to go to jail, rather than maintaining that she didn't.