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Tuesday 25, Nov 2008

  Tim Montgomery finally admits he took steroids and HGH

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tim-montgomery-steroidsThis is probably Tim Montgomery’s way of redeeming himself in the eyes of the public.

As he serves his four-year sentence for fraud and conspiracy offenses, the former sprinter admits in an interview with HBO that he took testosterone and human growth hormone prior to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Because of the doping infringement, Montgomery says, he does not deserve the gold medal he won in the 400 meter relay.

“I have a gold medal that I’m sitting on that I didn’t get with my own ability,” Montgomery stated in the interview. “I’m not here to take away from anybody else’s accomplishments, only my own. And I must say, I apologize to the other people that was on the relay team if that was to happen.”

Darryl Seibel, spokesman for the US Olympic Committee, has an immediate retort for Montgomery.

“If Tim Montgomery cheated at the games, then he should step forward and voluntarily return his medal, just as others from the 2000 team have done. By using a banned substance, any result he achieved is tainted,” Seibel said to Associated Press.

“He has a responsibility to his sport, to the athletes against whom he competed in Sydney and also to the new generation of track athletes who are doing their best to compete the right way and put problems like this in the past.”

Montgomery’s case has precedents, and they don’t bode well for Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian Lewis, Maurice Greene and Kenneth Brokenburr – Montgomery’s teammates at the 400 meter relay.

The men’s team which won the 1,600 meter event also at the Sydney Olympics were stripped off their medals when one member, Antonio Pettigrew, confessed to doping. Same thing happened with the U.S. women’s teams also in Sydney when the former sprint queen Marion Jones was implicated in a doping scandal. Jones’ teams, which won the gold in the 1,600 meter and bronze at the 400 meter relay, were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee executive board and were asked to return their medals.

“This is an example of the far-reaching consequences of cheating,” Seibel said. “The integrity of sport must be preserved, even if that means invalidating results and forfeiting medals.”

Jones had served her six-month sentence for lying about her use of anabolic steroids and her role in a check-fraud scheme. She was released from prison facility in Texas on September 5, 2008. Meanwhile, Montgomery, Jones’ former boyfriend, has to face another prison term after serving his check-fraud sentence, wherein Steve Riddick, coach to both Montgomery and Jones, was also involved. Riddick was also convicted for conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering charges.

After Montgomery completes his sentence for the fraud charges, the 33-year-old former record holder is to serve another five years for selling more than 100 grams of heroin. He was found guilty of this crime and sentenced to jail October this year.

Monday 01, Sep 2008

  Antonio Pettigrew keeps coaching post despite steroid use admission

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Antonio Pettigrew steroidsAll is not lost for Antonio Pettigrew.

The 2000 Olympic gold medalist in men’s 4×400 meter relay will continue to coach student athletes at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The institution has decided to keep the disgraced Pettigrew as an assistant coach in men’s and women’s track and field.

Pettigrew lost his gold medal when he admitted in a federal court that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. He, along with his 2000 Olympic teammates, was officially disqualified by the International Olympic Committee on August 2 and was asked to return his gold medal. Pettigrew, however, had earlier volunteered to give up his medal in June.

Baddour says UNC has one of the most stringent anti-steroid policies in all of amateur sports and that Pettigrew, who had used drugs before coming to UNC, had never encouraged the use of banned substances by UNC athletes.

“I deeply appreciate the second chance the University of North Carolina is giving me,” Pettigrew said in a prepared statement. ” … I promise to work hard not only as track coach but as a person who will dedicate myself to teaching young men and women to make the right decisions and to know that there are no shortcuts when it comes to competition, training and integrity.”

Pettigrew appeared before a federal court in May this year when he was subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify in Trevor Graham’s steroid trial. Graham was a former coach of Pettigrew and other prominent track athletes, including Marion Jones and her former husband C.J. Hunter. Graham was subsequently found guilty of committing perjury to federal authorities during their investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame, California.

Pettigrew, who never failed a drug test, admitted in his testimony that he had used the blood booster erythropoietin and human growth hormone in the period before, during and after the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Three of his teammates, however, had figured in doping violations before.

Twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison were suspended due to doping infringements. Jerome Young, another team member, was banned for life in 2004 from track and field for testing positive for banned compounds twice.

Pettigrew has been with the UNC coaching staff since 2006.

The BALCO incident is considered as the biggest steroid scandal in U.S. history. It involved preeminent Olympic and professional athletes, including star players of Major League Baseball and National Football League. This scandal prompted Congressional hearings on use of steroids and other banned substances in MLB. Several well-known sluggers were implicated, including Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds.

Legislators said the main motivation for the series of hearing was to stop the rising use of steroid use among young Americans.
“Kids are dying from the use of steroids. They’re looking up to these major league leaders in terms of the enhancements that they’re using. And we have to stop it,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif) in an interview on March 13, 2005 on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Monday 25, Aug 2008

  Marion Jones on prison relay because of steroids

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Marion Jones steroidsThis could be a calculated move on the part of federal authorities. As the 2008 Olympics was preparing to wrap up in Beijing former American track superstar Marion Jones is being relayed from one cage to another.

Remember that on July this year, the disgraced athlete has appealed to President George Bush to commute her six-month prison sentence for lying to prosecutors about her steroid use. Apparently, she did not get her wish granted.

The Belizean-born Jones shone in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 easily dominating the track and winning five medals there. She has been since disqualified and stripped of the medals, three of which were gold. She has also been disqualified at the IAAF World Cup in Athletics that took place in Madrid, Spain in 2002. The competition’s results were annulled where Jones participated in the 100m and the 4 x 100m relay, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively.

AP reports:

Former U.S. track star Marion Jones has been moved from a federal prison in Fort Worth and will serve the remainder of her sentence in San Antonio.

The disgraced Olympic star was sentenced to six months in prison in January for lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and a check-fraud scam.
Jones also was ordered to do 400 hours of community service in each of the two years following her release.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley says Jones was transferred to a community corrections center in San Antonio on Tuesday.

The Dallas Morning News reported Friday the transfer is part of the process toward the Sept. 5 scheduled release of Jones. She entered prison in early March.
President Bush has not acted on requests, on behalf of Jones, to commute her sentence.

For years, Jones denied using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. However, in October 2007, she pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury and was subsequently sentenced in January by a federal court in New York.

She admitted she had lied to investigators in 2003 when she denied knowing that she took the banned compound tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), known as “the clear,” before participating at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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