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Tim Montgomery stripped of record

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 Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (Balco) steroid scandal, and all his results, medals and prize money over the past five years were annulled.

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

Neither runner tested positive for drugs. They were banned based on evidence gathered in the criminal investigation of Balco and the testimony of fellow sprinter Kelli White.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) had requested four-year suspensions for both runners, but the 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.

The CAS voided all of Montgomery’s performances since March 31 2001, and Gaines’s results since November 30 2003.

That means Montgomery’s former world 100m record of 9,78 seconds — set in Paris in September 2002 — is no longer recognised.

The record was lowered to 9,77 seconds 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 400m 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 CEO 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.”

The 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.

The 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,” the CAS said.

White testified she spoke with Montgomery at a meet in March 2001 about the ”clear”, referring to THG, the previously undetectable steroid at the heart of the Balco case. Both athletes complained the drug made their calves tight, the CAS said.

White said she trained with Gaines from 2000 to 2003, and they spoke regularly about the ”clear” and another substance called ”the cream”.

The CAS panel cited other evidence submitted against Montgomery by Usada:

  • Blood test results from a Mexican laboratory in February 2000 allegedly showed Montgomery’s testosterone level doubled in one day.
  • There was evidence of possible masking in 59 urine tests from March 1999 to September 2004.
  • He had abnormal blood test results on five occasions between November 2000 and July 2001.

Usada can ban athletes without a positive doping test if there is other sufficient evidence — so-called ”non-analytical positives”. The agency reviewed thousands of documents seized by federal investigators looking into the Balco case.

Usada originally sought lifetime bans for both runners, but lowered its request to four years after dropping charges of ”assisting or inciting” doping and ”trafficking” in drugs.

The CAS said the athletes’ admission of doping merited a two-year ban under International Association of Athletics Federation rules.

A total of 14 athletes have received sanctions in the Balco case, including five without positive tests.

Montgomery and Gaines were among dozens of athletes who testified in 2003 before a federal grand jury in San Francisco probing Balco.

Last month, Balco founder Victor Conte began a four-month prison sentence in California for orchestrating an illegal steroids-distribution scheme.

Montgomery testified that in 2001 Conte gave him weekly doses of human growth hormone and the ”clear”, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in June last year.

The San Jose Mercury News published details last year of a plan Montgomery and Conte came up with in 2000 to turn him into the world’s fastest man. The plan — ”Project World Record” — allegedly called for Montgomery to take THG. — Sapa-AP

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