Sports Goggles

Remaking Kelli White in ESPN’s Image

with 4 comments

kelliwhite.jpgFormer sprinter, Kelli White, made an admission of BALCO-related guilt and now says she has moved on with her life.

However, White broke down quite painfully in the midst of an interview with ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada after talking about how other athletes perceive her and then attempted to explain how she is presently at peace with herself.

The stark truth, apparent from her emotional falling out (and even that might have been for effect, as there were no tears shown and as we all know, tears make for great heartstring-tugging television), is that Kelli White is haunted by ghosts of her own making. 

At best it is relief that she is not Marion Jones. More likely (because this is the point where she began to fall apart) White is still haunted by her fellow athletes’ damning words. She is haunted by the fact that the bonds she built over the years with these people are lost; all because she didn’t say to investigators, “I can only speak for myself and what I did. I cannot speak for any other athlete.”

You see, no one ever accused White and Jones of being friends; they barely ever spoke. And the problem with Kelli White the sprinter was that she never had the talent to be a world-class sprinter.

When she began taking Conte’s hodge-podge of supplements and chemist-inspired steroids that evaded drug testing, White asked Conte what it was he instructed her to rub into her thighs. Conte responded, “Flaxseed oil.” However, when White later inquired about the substance, Conte admitted she was using some sort of steroidal cream – and then he told her all the illicit substances she was ingesting in various forms and solutions.

Once Victor Conte told her that she was using steroids and human growth hormone, she made her decision to not only continue using them, but to be Conte’s star guinea pig, the one woman in BALCO’s ranks insecure enough in her abilities to allow Conte to try on her every possible combination of speed-enhancing elixir.

Kelli White was the manifestation of Conte’s boast that he could make almost anyone willing to train a world-class sprinter if they took what he was offering. 

See, the truth of Kelli White is that she admitted she was jealous of other female athletes. White knew that she was a lesser runner whose only chance at creating an equal playing field was to engage in doping. And she hopped in, eyes wide open, mind set on the prize.

And for a moment, she was the fastest woman in the world. 

Yet when faced with having to tell the truth, as she said during her interview with Fainaru-Wada, she knew that Conte kept copious notes and schedules for her. And why not, remember she was the guinea pig, after all? But what privately irked White is that Conte did not keep the same sort of notes on Jones. White then volunteered to USADA (the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) information she was not directly asked. According to White, she told Travis Tygart and others with USADA that she was worried that because Conte did not have the same paper on Marion Jones, that she would escape unscathed.

Now Kelli White has the nerve to act as though she hurts for Jones. She hurts that a mother of children must be ripped from those children and go to prison. Surely, if Jones had not perjured herself early and often at each turn her name was mentioned in relation to performance-enhancing drugs, she probably would have escaped prison. Yet, had White’s jealously of Jones’ talents not consumed her, Jones – and USADA and federal investigators – would have been left to their own devices.

And with the hole Jones was continuing to dig for herself through her lies, the federal government might have built an even stronger case against the former track-and-field darling. We will never know the extent of Jones’ participation in the money-laundering operation with which she was involved.

No, Kelli White, there should be no making you look like some sort of heroine, some sort of anti-steroids crusader or savior. You are simply the same insecure woman you were when you were young; the same heartless soul you were when you volunteered your counterfeit concern that Marion Jones would get away with what you could not.

You see, if you truly feel for Jones, truly understand your involvement in the world of performance-enhancing drugs, and are at peace, there would be no interviews given, no public displays of begging for repentance. No having to conduct an interview to tell the world, “My integrity ran deep in the whole thing. I thought that that was more important to me than my image.”

You, Kelli White, would have “move on.”

addendum: The Outside the Lines segment where the White interview was aired also acted as a redoubling on ESPN’s part to continue to act as anti-steroid fear mongers and to positively reaffirm Mark Fainaru-Wada’s co-authored, Game of Shadows book. After the White segment, OTL host, Bob Ley, asked Fainaru-Wada why athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and others continue to lie about their PED use. Fainaru-Wada’s answer was, in part:

“Obviously, no proof yet on Clemens or at least no guilt at this point on Clemens…” 

Sportswriters and columnists are beginning to ask why Roger Clemens continues to be given a pass by writers and the public in the face of serious allegations and perhaps physical evidence, when all that is attached to Barry Bonds is some paperwork that might or might not pertain to the slugger and Fainaru-Wada’s and Lance Williams’ book that is more Hollywood script – movie rights were sold for a movie based on the book – and tabloid investigative journalism than it is proof (and no, spending an inordinate amount of time “detailing” Bonds’ relationship with Kimberly Bell and what she is alleged to “know” about Bonds’ steroid use is not hard-hitting journalism).

Fainaru-Wada’s statement clearly indicates that proof is certainly in the eyes of the beholder – especially when the proof-teller’s “proofs” are being questioned, even by peers in his own house. 

Oh by the way, since White ingested a cornucopia of PEDs, has anyone checked her out for evidence of the mal-effects of these drugs on a woman? Does she show signs of cancerous cells in her body as some physicians allege is the case with HGH use? These are questions that Kelli White, who acted as a human guinea pig for Conte, and her PED-laced body could elucidate.

We need to know so that the conversation concerning PEDs can have a human to attach itself to. Additionally, we know that Debbie Clemens used HGH. Though we do not know and will never know the extent of her HGH use, she is another candidate for further understanding the effects of that particular drug on the physiology of women.


4 Responses

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  1. Good article.

    White obviously allowed jealously to convince her to snitch on Jones. I have no problem with Jones getting caught and doing time, it sucks but she knew what she was risking. However, for her downfall to come at the hands of a fellow runner whose main motivation was jealousy, well that’s just too much.

    Big Man

    March 10, 2008 at 11:29 am

  2. BM-
    My point exactly. It’s jut too bad not much is known about the topic by sports fans. I mean, Marion J. Is a known entity, but track-and-field figures like White are relatively anonymous….


    March 10, 2008 at 12:30 pm

  3. I want to start off bye saying that this article is CRAZY! Its one thing for you to get caught but to bring down others is hating. Marion Jones is not the only one she was hating on if that’s in deed who she was really trying to bring down but my sources led me to believe she was really jelly of Chryste Gaines and the fact that you put other people careers in jeopardy because and I quote” she never had the talent to be a world-class sprinter.” Is mind blowing. One last fact to bring down and hurt the man who tried to make the best of what he had to work with Remi Korchemny is well I’m lost for words….. MONEY GONE!


    March 17, 2008 at 11:29 pm

  4. Your statements about Kelly White are fullish.
    They sound like she was a mediocer sprinter. Bullshit.
    She was an excellent sprinter. Look the videos with her performarmance. Her technique was supirior to everyone. The same is true regaeding Barry Bonds and CXlemance. They just are better executer that any another athlete. A pig that takes steroids will be a bigger pig, but not a World Champion.
    Besides, next @ places that was awarded with medals at the World Championship in 2003, were DQ for drug use. So, she was supirior not only becouse of the drugs, but becouse she was better trained.
    Minwhile, all people taking some form of drug that improve there performance. Take as example Viagra. Ant that is ligal!
    Yes, she should talk only for herself. But she did this not only for conty. She did this for our contry. Becouse every contry wants medals from there atheles.

    Remi Korchemny

    March 18, 2008 at 1:25 am

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