Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Sports court bans Tim Montgomery

AP , LONDON

Tim Montgomery of the US crosses the finish line of the 100m in 10:04 at the Athletics Grand Prix in Mexico City on May 3, 2003. Montgomery was banned from the sport for two years for doping after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an earlier ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday.

PHOTO: EPA

Tim Montgomery's 100m world record was broken earlier this year. Now it's been wiped completely from the books.

The American sprinter was banned for two years on Tuesday in the BALCO steroid scandal, and all his results, medals and prize money over the past five years were annulled.

Two-time Olympic relay medalist Chryste Gaines also received a two-year ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Neither runner tested positive for drugs. They were banned based on evidence gathered in the criminal investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and the testimony of fellow sprinter Kelli White.

The US Anti-Doping Agency had requested four-year suspensions for both runners, but CAS -- the highest court in sports -- cut the penalty in half. The decisions are final and binding.

The bans were backdated to June 6, 2005, the first day of Montgomery's hearing.

CAS voided all of Montgomery's performances since March 31, 2001, and Gaines' results since Nov. 30, 2003.

That means Montgomery's former world 100m record of 9.78 seconds -- set in Paris in September 2002 -- is no longer recognized. The record was lowered to 9.77 by Jamaica's Asafa Powell on June 14 in Athens, Greece.

Another former record holder, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, was stripped of his marks after testing positive for steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Montgomery, 30, will also lose the 100m silver medal from the 2001 World Championships, a race won by former record holder Maurice Greene. The silver will now go to fellow American Bernard Williams, with Ato Boldon going from fourth to bronze.

Montgomery also forfeits his gold medal in the 400-meter relay from the 2001 worlds. Mickey Grimes, Williams and Dennis Mitchell were the other members of the relay team.

"It is always a great day for clean athletes when individuals who cheat are held accountable and stripped of the rewards gained through doping," USADA chief executive officer Terry Madden said in a statement. "The unfortunate part of this BALCO chapter is that these two athletes knew they were guilty of doping and they wasted everyone's time and resources attempting to run from the consequences of their actions."

CAS said it had "strong, indeed uncontroverted, evidence of doping" by both Montgomery and Gaines.

The court said it based its ruling largely on the testimony of White, a former world sprint champion who was suspended for two years in 2004 in the BALCO case. She promised to cooperate with investigators to clean up the sport.

White testified that Montgomery and Gaines both admitted to her that they used a prohibited substance provided by BALCO.

CAS said White's evidence was "fatal" to both athletes' cases, especially since they both declined to testify at their hearings.

"The panel unanimously found that Ms. White's testimony was both credible and sufficient to establish that the athletes had indeed admitted to have used prohibited substances in violation of applicable anti-doping rules," CAS said.

This story has been viewed 2869 times.
TOP top