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Montgomery on his fall from grace

Tim Montgomery – once the fastest man in the world – is now in prison. He now reflects on where it all went wrong. Angela Hinds reports.

Tim Montgomery once bore the title of the fastest man in the world. But there will be no track events for the moment as he is incarcerated in the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama.

He is serving time for two convictions the first for bank fraud, the second for possession and distribution of heroin.

Montgomery is the former partner of track star Marion Jones, with whom he has a child.

Jones was also jailed in 2008 for six months for her involvement with the cheque fraud case as well as lying to federal prosecutors regarding her use of performance enhancement drugs.

She won five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics but was forced to hand them back to the United States Anti-Doping (USADA) agency after her admission.

Montgomery, now eighteen months into a seven year sentence said his desire to beat track great Maurice Green propelled him into taking steroids.

He was seeking the success and wealth of Green and performance enhancing drugs gave him the illusion of being on top of the world, albeit temporarily.

‘I would give anything to be the world’s fastest, I wouldn’t let anything get in my way’, he said.

Montgomery finally succeeded in breaking Greens 100 metre record in 2002, however he was stripped of all records achieved since 2001 and had a two year ban imposed after being found guilty in 2005 of obtaining steroids from BALCO, a San Francisco laboratory.

Although he never tested positive for any drug test he reportedly testified to USADA that he and other athletes had purchased the performance enhancing drugs. Montgomery retired after this ban was announced.

Montgomery has stated that he found it an easy transition from taking drugs to selling them and admits he was more affected by the furore surrounding his use of performance enhancing drugs than he was about selling heroin. Montgomery describes himself as a man who enjoyed living on the edge.

Montgomery, father of four has the support of Jamalee, his wife whom he married in prison this October.

The recent scandal of some of the world’s best known athletes taking performance enhancing drugs has done a huge disservice to the athletic world.

Montgomery’s story shows with certainty that the desire to be number one in the field at any cost can often lead to a fast track to nowhere.

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