Dope sprinter spills the beans

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

TIM Mont­gomery started tak­ing per­for mance-en­hanc­ing drugs be­cause he wanted to beat Amer­i­can sprint ri­val Mau­rice Greene and be­come the fastest man in the world, the for mer 100-me­tre worl­drecord holder said in an in­ter­view with a Bri­tish news­pa­per.

Mont­gomery, who also said he and for­mer part­ner Mar­ion Jones stored their steroids in the re­frig­er­a­tor “next to the veg­eta­bles,” spoke to The Times news­pa­per from a fed­eral prison in Alabama where he is serv­ing time for bank fraud and drug deal­ing.

“Mau­rice got in my head real bad,” Mont­gomery said in the in­ter­view, which was pub­lished yes­ter­day. “I wanted ev­ery­thing that he had.”

Mont­gomery crit­i­cises Greene for “cloning the other ath­letes”.

And it was af­ter the 1999 world cham­pi­onships in Seville, Spain, that Mont­gomery de­cided do some­thing.

“I would give any­thing to be the world’s fastest,” said Mont­gomery, who left coach Steve Rid­dick and joined dop­ing­tainted coach Trevor Gra­ham. “I wouldn’t let any­thing get in my way.”

Mont­gomery never tested pos­i­tive for drugs, but he was linked to the BALCO dop­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and has ad­mit­ted that he doped be­fore the 2000 Syd­ney Olympics.

He re­tired af­ter the ban was im­posed in 2005.

Mont­gomery said he and Jones be­came an item in 2002 af­ter spending sev­eral hours talk­ing on a flight to Rome.

“Two hours later we were alone in a ho­tel room to­gether. Two weeks af­ter that we were crowned the world’s fastest cou­ple. And six months af­ter that she was preg­nant,” said Mont­gomery, who added that Jones could make her­self cry for the cam­eras. “Her best work was when she passed a lie de­tec­tor test.”

A short time af­ter they got to­gether, Mont­gomery set the world record in the 100 in Paris, run­ning 9.78 sec­onds – one hun­dredth of a sec­ond faster than Greene’s pre­vi­ous record but now wiped from the books.

De­spite his suc­cess, Mont­gomery said Jones was the “prima donna” of Gra­ham’s group of track ath­letes, and added he was dat­ing her for the pub­lic and not for him­self.

“An ath­lete can be so con­sumed by be­ing great,” Mont­gomery said. “We both wanted to achieve at any cost.”

Last year, Jones served six months in prison for per­jury in the BALCO case. She never tested pos­i­tive for dop­ing, but was stripped of her five medals from the Syd­ney Games af­ter ad­mit­ting dop­ing at the time.

Mont­gomery is now in a min­i­mum se­cu­rity prison in Mont­gomery, Alabama, and works as a land­scaper.

But he said he has had some tough mo­ments since be­ing locked up, in­clud­ing hav­ing to beat up a pae­dophile cell­mate in a New York prison be­cause oth­er­wise “the other in­mates would have thought I was soft.”– AP

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