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.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before