Disgraced Tim Montgomery jailed in US

Disgraced former 100m world-record-holder Tim Montgomery was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison on Friday for his role in a check fraud scheme that also led to the downfall of Marion Jones.

United States District Court Judge Kenneth Karas imposed the sentence on Montgomery, once considered the world’s fastest man before being banned from athletics as a dope cheat and having his record-setting run stricken from the books.

Montgomery, facing a July trial in Virginia on heroin-distribution charges, had pleaded guilty 13 months ago to conspiring to commit bank fraud and two counts of bank fraud in a multimillion-dollar counterfeiting scheme.

Jones, the mother of his son, Tim Jnr, is serving a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to making false statements under oath about the fraud scheme and lying when saying she didn’t take performance-enhancing drugs.

Jones was stripped of the five medals she won at the Sydney Olympics.

Their former coach, Steve Riddick, was found guilty in federal court of bank fraud and money-laundering charges stemming from the scheme, in which Montgomery’s agent, Charles Wells, also pleaded guilty.

Montgomery’s epic slide from the summit of the sporting world came after his lawyers agreed with prosecutors that an appropriate sentence would range from 37 to 46 months, the judge imposing the maximum within that range.

Montgomery (33) was already behind bars, having been arrested on April 30 on charges he conspired to distribute more than 100g of heroin in 2007 and 2008.

Neither Jones nor Montgomery ever tested positive for steroids, but the once-undetectable steroid THG was at the heart of the Balco steroid scandal to which both were linked.

Montgomery won 2000 Sydney Olympic gold in the 4x100m relay and a silver medal in the same event in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics despite not appearing in the finals of either race.

Montgomery retired in 2005 after receiving a two-year ban from athletics based on evidence linking him to the Balco scandal, a ban that wiped out his world-record 100m run of 9,78 seconds from September 2002 at Paris.—Sapa-AFP

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