Former sprint champion Montgomery admits to doping
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The former 100m world record holder Tim Montgomery, now in jail for distributing heroin, has recognized using human growth hormones before the Sydney Olympics, where he won gold in the 4x100 relay.
Disgraced former 100-meter world record holder Tim Montgomery has admitted to doping before the 2000 Sydney Olympics and says he does not deserve his 4x100m relay gold medal in an interview with HBO Sports.
In a prison cell interview to be telecast Tuesday on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Montgomery confirms he took human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone before Sydney, which could cause the relay to lose its gold medal.
"Prior to the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia, I broke the rules. I used testosterone and then I used (H)GH four times a month," Montgomery said. "I have a gold medal that I'm sitting on that I didn't get with my own ability."
The admission could prompt the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to strip gold from the US 4x100 relay, which also included Maurice Greene, Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian Lewis and Kenneth Brokenburr.
"I’m not here to take away from anybody else’s accomplishments, only my own," Montgomery said. "And I must say I apologize to the other people on the relay team if that was to happen."
The IOC stripped Sydney gold from the entire US men's 4x400 relay after Antonio Pettigrew admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Marion Jones, Montgomery's former girlfriend and mother of his son Tim Jnr, was stripped of five medals from the Sydney Olympics after admitting to doping, with a US 4x400 gold and 4x100 bronze vacated because Jones was a dope cheat.
Montgomery, who declined to speak about Jones for the interview, will spend the next nine years behind bars. He was sentenced to five years last month for distributing heroin after a prior four-year sentence in a check fraud scheme.
"When I was locked in that cell, and I was by myself, I had time to think on everything that had happened," Montgomery said. "How did this happen? That's the question I'm dealing with every day.
"Why did it take this? That's the question I wake up to every day and go to sleep to. (I kick myself) all day long."
Montgomery set a world 100m record of 9.78 seconds in Paris in 2002 that was erased from the books in 2005 after he was issued a two-year doping ban for links to the BALCO steroid scandal, a punishment that led to his retirement.
Montgomery never failed a drug test but admitted using a once-undetectable steroid in 2001 to BALCO investigators in 2003 and that was enough to start his fall.
"Mentally I wanted it, but physically I didn't put in the work to get it," Montgomery said. "I just wanted my name in the paper and my face on TV."
Montgomery was asked if his downfall came more from ignorance, greed, hunger for fame and fortune or trying to find a shortcut to glory.
"I would say all of them," Montgomery replied. "It's the same combination that made me a champion that turned to be my downfall."
Montgomery said that BALCO founder Victor Conte never said the products he supplied for what was dubbed "Project World Record" were steroids but added, "I knew. I'm not going to lie. I knew."
Montgomery went on to the glory of a world record but after his mark was erased and his suspension imposed, the 33-year-old American hit the bottom.
"I was depressed," he said. "I curled up for two weeks, didn't come outside. The rug had been pulled out from under me and I was ashamed."
That led Montgomery to seek fast and easy money in a check fraud scheme and later led to drug dealings.
"I made the bed so I'm going to lie in it," Montgomery said.
Now he has time to ponder how he will be remembered in sports history.
"As I sit back at night, that's all I have is the dreams and memories that I have accomplished," Montgomery said. "I got guys in there - 'Oh you don't have it no more,' or 'Steroids is the only thing that made you fast.'
"But I hope they view me and look back at my track record, and say that he had it. So I'm hoping I'm viewed as a man because I lived my life as a boy."