Sun, Dec 05, 2004 - Page 7 News List

Steroid peddler implicates some champion athletes

AFP , WASHINGTON

US champion Tim Montgomery shows his result after winning the men's 100m race in 9.78 seconds and setting a new world record during the IAAF Grand-Prix Final at Paris' Charlety Stadium on Sept. 14, 2002.

AFP PHOTO FILES DAMIEN MEYER

The American sprinter Tim Montgomery was using performance enhancing drugs when he set the coveted 100m world record of 9.78 sec, accused steroid peddler Victor Conte said in an interview broadcast on ABC television's 20/20 program on Friday.

Conte, one of four men facing charges stemming from an investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), which he founded, said he developed a plan that included doping coupled with physical training specifically targeted at making Montgomery the world's fastest man.

But Conte said he believed Montgomery -- who has denied wrongdoing -- was just the latest 100m world record holder to have enhanced his abilities.

The 29-year-old Montgomery has not tested positive for drugs, but the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has built a case against him based at least in part on information gathered in the criminal investigation of BALCO.

Montgomery also told 20/20 that he had given performance enhancing drugs to US sprint queen Marion Jones before she won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

That excerpt of the interview had been made public on Thursday, and Jones, who has never tested positive for banned drugs, reacted angrily on Friday.

"Victor Contes allegations about me are not true. I have instructed my lawyers to vigorously explore a defamation lawsuit against Victor Conte," she said.

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