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Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Sprinter Montgomery faces ban

U.S. Anti-Doping agency plans to seek lifetime penalty

June 24, 2004

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The U.S. 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 of the charges against him and the punishment he could face, according to two sources familiar with the letter who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

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

Montgomery is the boyfriend of three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones, and 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.

USADA confirmed only that it "sent letters to several track and field athletes charging them" with doping violations.

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

Howard Jacobs, one of Montgomery's lawyers, accused 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 didn't allege Montgomery "took any banned substances."

"The conclusion by USADA's review board ... to proceed with the adjudication process based on some vague assertion of Tim's alleged involvement with BALCO further underscores the basic lack of fairness in this entire process," Jacobs said in a statement.

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.

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