Athletics: I don't know what to tell kids, says Montgomery

The disgraced American sprinter Tim Montgomery retired yesterday rather than wait out a two-year suspension and return under a cloud of suspicion. "I don't want to be looked on as a cheat," the former 100 metres world record holder said.

Although he did not test positive for drugs, Montgomery was banned for doping based on evidence gathered in the criminal investigation of Balco, a San Francisco-area laboratory that served many high-profile athletes. "It's like getting a whipping for something you know you didn't do," Montgomery said.

The 30-year-old maintains he never knowingly took steroids or any other banned substances, and worries about his legacy.

"That's the main concern because I don't know what to tell my kids," he said. "I don't know what to tell my mother and father, even though they say they love me and don't worry about it."

Montgomery said he and three-time Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones have split, up although they remain in regular contact. They have a two-year-old son, Monty.

The US Anti-Doping Agency sought a four-year ban, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport cut the time in half in a ruling issued on Tuesday.

The punishment relied heavily on the testimony of fellow sprinter Kelli White, who accepted a two-year ban and agreed to co-operate with investigators. "I don't even know Kelli White," Montgomery said, "so why would I tell her anything?"

All of Montgomery's performances from 31 March 2001 onwards were wiped off the books, including the world record of 9.78 seconds he set in Paris in September 2002. Asafa Powell of Jamaica broke that record with 9.77 in Athens in June.

Montgomery said the Balco founder Victor Conte had served as his nutritionist from December 2000 to June 2001 and had told him that all of the substances he was providing were legal.

"Victor wouldn't be Victor if he told you what was in it," Montgomery said. "He assured me no steroid was involved." Montgomery conceded that Conte could have supplied him with banned substances without his knowledge. "But I never tested positive," he said.

Conte, serving a four-month prison term as part of a plea bargain, has admitted distributing the steroid THG, which at the time could not be detected in tests. That changed when Trevor Graham, former coach for Montgomery and Jones, sent a vial containing THG to Usada that tipped authorities to what some athletes were using.

Montgomery said that he had "never heard of THG" until the substance became news, but acknowledged that he had associated with a bad crowd. "That's why I'm accepting what happened to me," he said. "My mother always told me, 'Watch the company you keep'." But because his world record run came long after he split with Conte, he considers it legitimate. "Mentally, they can't take that away from me," he said.

Jones has never tested positive for improper drugs and, unlike Montgomery, faced no accusations from the USADA. But because of allegations from Conte and ex-husband CJ Hunter, she has been dogged by suspicion wherever she raced.

Jones, who won an unprecedented five track medals at the Sydney Olympics, withdrew from the US championships last summer, picking up her warm-up kit and walking away from the 100m heat blocks. Later, her agent cited an injury. She has not raced since.

"She wants to go out and race to prove herself and that's going to be tough," Montgomery said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital