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Montgomery admits doping ahead of Sydney Games

24 November 2008

Disgraced former world record-holder Tim Montgomery said he took testosterone and human growth hormone before the Sydney Olympics, and does not deserve the gold medal he won in the 400-meter relay.

The admission was made during an interview scheduled to air Tuesday night on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

“I have a gold medal that I’m sitting on that I didn’t get with my own ability,” Montgomery said in the interview. “I’m not here to take away from anybody else’s accomplishments, only my own. And I must say, I apologize to the other people that was on the relay team if that was to happen.”

Montgomery never tested positive for drugs, but he was banned from track for two years and his world record in the 100 was erased after he was linked to the BALCO investigation. He retired after the ban was imposed in 2005.

He did not say in the interview when or how often he had taken testosterone, just that he had done so before Sydney. He also said he took HGH four times a month.

“If Tim Montgomery cheated at the games, then he should step forward and voluntarily return his medal, just as others from the 2000 team have done,” Darryl Seibel, spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, said on Sunday. “By using a banned substance, any result he achieved is tainted.

“He has a responsibility to his sport, to the athletes against whom he competed in Sydney and also to the new generation of track athletes who are doing their best to compete the right way and put problems like this in the past.”

How Montgomery’s admission might affect his teammates is not clear. Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian Lewis, Maurice Greene and Kenneth Brokenburr were the other members of the 400 relay team.

The International Olympic Committee has taken a tough stance toward doping, stripping entire relay teams of their results and medals if even one member is found to have cheated. The U.S. men’s team that won the 1,600 relay in Sydney had to give up its medals after Antonio Pettigrew admitted doping.

The IOC also vacated the victory by the U.S. women’s 1,600 relay team in Sydney and the third-place finish of the 400 relay squad because Marion Jones, Montgomery’s former girlfriend, had doped.

“This is an example of the far-reaching consequences of cheating,” Seibel said. “The integrity of sport must be preserved, even if that means invalidating results and forfeiting medals.”

Montgomery also said in the interview that he signed a $98,000 shoe contract with Asics while still in college, a violation of NCAA rules.

Montgomery is currently in prison after being convicted of check fraud and heroin trafficking.

The sprinter is serving a 46-month sentence for helping his former coach, Olympic champion Steve Riddick, and others cash $1.7 million in stolen and counterfeit checks. He then must serve five years for selling heroin to an informant. That arrest came while Montgomery was awaiting sentencing on the check fraud charge.

“I made the bed, so I’m going to lie in it,” Montgomery said in the HBO interview. “... Why did it take this? That’s the question I wake up to every day and go to sleep to.”

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