Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

October 5, 2007
Sprinter to              Admit Drug Use
Marion Jones, the one-time Olympic superstar who for years has vehemently denied her use of performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly will plead guilty today to lying to federal agents about her drug use.

Jones won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, became a famed magazine cover girl and was dubbed the "world's fastest woman" even as she repeatedly deflected questions about her many connections to the world of performance-enhancing drugs.

In 2003, she became enmeshed in the BALCO steroids scandal and continued to profess her innocence about cheating, telling a grand jury she had never used banned drugs and apparently even deceiving law-enforcement officers when confronted with evidence. Now those denials have led her to a New York courtroom, where this afternoon she is expected to plead guilty to lying to federal agents, according to the Washington Post and the New York Daily News.

The Post was first to report on its Web site Thursday that Jones had penned a letter to close friends and family explaining her intentions to admit her drug use in court today and face a felony count.

Jones has been unequivocal in her denials that she ever cheated.
San Francisco Chronicle

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For Sports AND Finance, It's the End of the Steroids Era
Category: SPORTS
By: Pete Kendall, October 5, 2007

Apparently, when it is a fifth wave of Supercycle degree, the positive outlook is so rigorously imposed on society that long-established social institutions such as professional baseball or industries such as the mortgage field stretch conventional standards to allow the achievement of record-high results, or at least the impression of them.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, January 2005

marion mag
In 2000, Marion Jones was the golden girl (she won three gold and two bronze medals at the Sydney Olympics). Now she’s the latest famous athlete to tarnish the glory of that era by revealing that her achievements were due largely to use of “performance enhancing” drugs. Her confession didn’t happen overnight. In fact, social forces seem to have gradually pried it out of her. Notice the date that she became “enmeshed” – 2003, which was near the bottom of a big bear market. In 2004, the market was rallying again and Jones so successful in fending off allegations of steroid use that she competed in the 2004 games in Ahtens. In her 2004 autobiography she wrote in large red letters, “I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNEQUIVOCAL IN MY OPINION: I AM AGAINST PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN THEM AND I NEVER WILL TAKE THEM.”

The Washington Post reports that Jones is now saying she used a steroid cream for two years beginning in 1999, and that she got the cream from a former coach who told her it was flaxseed oil. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Barry Bonds offered the same testimony to a grand jury in response to his alleged steroid use at about the same time. Jones was snared for lying to the same BALCO grand jury that continues to pursue Bonds. Like Jones, Bonds managed to keep playing despite the charges. He even broke the all-time home run record this year, but due to the allegations of steroid use the most treasured record in sports was achieved amidst little fanfare. At the end of the season, the San Francisco Giants announced that will not sign him again for next year. 

Over time, Jones, Bonds and several others were caught in scandal surrounding a single steroid lab. Authorities just “uncovered dozens of steroid labs in an international investigation into the illicit trade of performance-enhancing drugs.” So, many more stars will probably fall. Of Jones, today's New York Times says, "Her admission ends years of denial." One of the beneficial side effects of a bear market is that they break the delusionary psychology that pushed assets and many other aspects of social behavior to extremes. 

As the January 2005 issue of EWFF explained, the use of steroids and the more recent attack on their use is driven by a shift in standards that accompanies the transition from the end of a large degree bull market to a bear market in social mood (see Additional References below) . As the quote above observes, in sports and business, the effort to keep up with record highs in the averages becomes so intense that participants bend the rules. Once the tide recedes, their only defense is “everybody was doing it,” which holds little sway in a world where tolerance and optimism have been replaced by anger and vindictiveness. The deeper the decline, the more thoroughly the change sweeps through every aspect of society. This one’s been building for years, so it stands to be a life-changer – for just about everybody.

Additional References

EWFF, January 2005
Squeezing the Juice Out of the Long Ball
What’s the difference between the steroids’ controversy in baseball and the accounting crisis at Fannie Mae? From a socionomics perspective, there is none. The slackening of accounting rules that allowed corporations to pump up their financial statements and the use of performance-enhancing substances by professional baseball players are just separate mediums through which the peak mood of the 1990s and early 2000s “juiced up” the social environment to reflect the end of a 200-year bull market. One key attribute of a fifth wave is that it lacks the underlying strength of the preceding third wave. But what fifth waves fail to produce in substance they make up for in an abundant optimism. Apparently, when it is a fifth wave of Supercycle degree, the positive outlook is so rigorously imposed on society that long-established social institutions such as professional baseball or industries such as the mortgage field stretch conventional standards to allow the achievement of record-high results, or at least the impression of them. As The Elliott Wave Theorist explained with regard to the financial fundamentals in September 1998, one key attribute of the last leg of the great bull market was its ability to get novice, as well as professional observers, to explain away, ignore and deny a long list of financial measures that were clearly weakening in the bull market’s waning days (see Chapter 1 of Conquer the Crash).

A bear market is the path through which historical standards and values are re-established. In the same vein as stock “bears” who nevertheless call for a continued market rise in 2005 and those recognizing real estate as a bubble yet call for real estate to remain buoyant, many sports columnists are incensed by the steroid revelations, but say there will be little or no effect on the game in 2005. They continue to track a high level of indifference on the part of fans. At this year’s winter meetings, player salaries again notched higher, and teams report no discernible effect on season ticket sales. “Fans Don’t Care About steroids,” says one headline.

As the bear market returns, the baseball crowds will thin out and the disgust will come pouring out. The effects of a deepening negative social mood will undoubtedly extend onto the field since most players took steroids for the same reasons investors bought stocks: to make money, to mimic one another and, as author Carl Elliott explains, to avoid “the risk of being left behind.” “This may be less about the desire to succeed than the desire to avoid shame and humiliation,” says Elliott. The fear of shame and humiliation is a powerful motivator. But it totally re-orients itself in a bear market. As steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs themselves become a source of shame, not to mention severe punishment, their use will wane. This will get the game more in line with its roots, which is what bear markets are all about.

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