And yet, despite breaking world records in the 100m and 200m sprints; despite being romantically involved with and coached by Olympic shot-putter CJ Hunter who tested positive for steroids four times leading up to the 2000 Olympics and was subsequently banned by the ITAF; despite being romantically involved with and coached by Olympic sprinter Tim Montgomery who tested positive for steroids and was subsequently banned; despite training under track coach Trevor Graham who has been banned for life from track and field; and despite her affiliation with BALCO Labs and the insistence of BALCO president Victor Conte who admitted to injecting Marion Jones with steroids, the general public and sports journalists were still gullible enough to believe that Marion Jones was in fact, a clean athlete.
Football was the binding force between the friends - they even allowed Arsenal fan Winston into the group; at least, once he picked Arsenal as his team to support ("Gabe hated me at the age of four because I didn't like football until I was six," says Winston, "and so relentlessly bullied me until then"). The four slept over at each other's houses and talked football. They went to Jewish summer camp together and played football. The two Bens would play against Leo and Gabe. They called themselves Bens United. At their London headquarters, three of their edit suites are named after Sunderland greats and, to placate Winston, one after an Arsenal legend.