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USADA Wants Lifetime Ban For Montgomery

Posted June 23, 2004

— The

United States Anti-Doping Agency

plans to seek a lifetime ban against 100-meter world record holder Tim Montgomery for alleged drug violations, The Associated Press has learned.

Montgomery was notified Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the letter, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Another track star, Michelle Collins, the 2003 world indoor champion at 200 meters and potential medalist at this summer's Athens Games, also was told USADA would seek to ban her for life, according to her lawyer.

Montgomery is the boyfriend of three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones. They have a nearly 1-year-old son.

Collins is a former training partner of Jones, who is being investigated for possible doping by USADA but has not been formally notified she is the target of a probe.

Jones has been adamant about her innocence,

holding a press conference last week to say she never has failed any of the more 160 drug tests she has taken and demanding a public hearing in which to clear her name.

Jones' ex-husband, C.J. Hunter, was banned from the 2000 Olympics after reportedly failing several drug tests.

USADA's action marks the first time it has filed charges against athletes without a positive drug test. The agency has built its cases on evidence from the federal probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

Montgomery and Collins now have to decide whether to accept their punishment or appeal to an arbitration panel or the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. USADA hopes to have cases wrapped up before the Aug. 13-29 Olympics -- or perhaps even before the U.S. Olympic trials next month in Sacramento, Calif.

Montgomery and Collins are among four sprinters who received USADA letters earlier this month informing them that they were being investigated for possible drug use.

The other sprinters are 2000 Olympic 400-meter silver medalist Alvin Harrison and two-time Olympic relay medalist Chryste Gaines. Harrison's attorney, Ed Williams, would not comment Wednesday.

Gaines' attorney, Cameron Myler, did not return phone messages.

Howard Jacobs, one of Montgomery's lawyers, issued a statement Wednesday accusing USADA of "McCarthy-like tactics in its efforts to ruin Tim's reputation." He didn't divulge details of the letter, saying only that it doesn't allege Montgomery "took any banned substances."

USADA spokesman Rich Wanninger said the agency had no immediate comment.

It was not immediately clear whether Montgomery would lose his world record of 9.78 seconds, set in September 2002 in Paris, if he is found guilty of doping. If so, the record would revert to Maurice Greene's 9.79, set in 1999 in Athens, Greece.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, Darryl Seibel, wouldn't comment, saying it's "a matter between USADA, the athletes and their representatives, and it would not be appropriate."

The

Los Angeles Times,

citing documents obtained by the newspaper, reported Tuesday that USADA alleges Montgomery used five banned steroids, human growth hormone, the blood-booster EPO and insulin -- some as far back as 2000.

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