Tim the mid-1990s, with the 100-meter dash being his

Tim Montgomery is an ex-Track and Field athlete who once laid claim to the title of “World’s Fastest Man”. His early days in the sport were modest with many 6th place finishes in the mid-1990s, with the 100-meter dash being his specialty. His popularity in the sport began to rise when he won a bronze medal in the 100m at the 1997 World Championships and was ranked #4 in the world, with a best time of 9.92. In 1999, he began training with Marion Jones and the two eventually became a couple. In 2000, Montgomery was on the U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal in the 4x100m relay. In 2001 he was on the relay teams that won silver and gold medals at the World Outdoor Championships and he was ranked #2 in the world, with a best time of 9.84. In 2002 at age 27, he set the 100-meter world record at 9.78 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix Final in Paris and was ranked #1 in the world. By 2003, he had dropped to #10 in the world with a best time of 10.04.Although Montgomery never tested positive for any illegal performance enhancing substances, rumors of his involvement with BALCO prompted an investigation to take place. BALCO stands for the “Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative” and they were a business out of the San Francisco Bay Area who is now known to have supplied illegal anabolic steroids to professional athletes in return for product advertisement. Montgomery pleaded innocent but still received a 2-year suspension from Track and Field based on the BALCO investigation and the testimony of another sprinter. In addition to this ban, he was stripped of all of his results and awards since 2001, including his world record. Montgomery retired the day after receiving the ban. A few years later he did confess to using performance-enhancing substances. 2The two PEDs that Montgomery claimed to use were THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) and human growth hormone. He said that he used them from February 2000 to June 2001. What is interesting is that THG couldn’t be detected in the routine drug tests that were being performed on athletes during these years, which is probably why Montgomery’s drug tests never came back positive for any illegal substances. Another thing I find interesting with his claim is the timing. Montgomery broke the world record in 2002 but says that he was clean during this time. However, in a statement made by Montgomery regarding the BALCO scandal, he said that he helped start what they called “Project World Record – a training and drug regimen that would help him reach that goal”. It seems to me that this confession of using PEDs may have been a last ditch effort to try to reinstate his world record in 2002. However, during the timeframe between 2000 and 2001 that Montgomery claims he used THG and human growth hormone there are significant improvements in his athletic achievements. He advanced in world ranking, won many medals and drastically decreased his 100-m time. I think his use of these performance-enhancing substances had a large impact and greatly enhanced his ability to do well in track. It is significant to note that in 2003 his world ranking dropped significantly.Montgomery claimed that he turned to drugs because he thought he was at a disadvantage due to the several other athletes that were doping at the time. He believed that the only way to break records was to “be enhancing”. So he began taking THG and human growth hormone and he rode a high horse for a few years. He broke the world record and he lived a life of luxury filled with cars, money, and the world’s fastest woman (at the time). Following the suspension, however, Montgomery was arrested for two counts of bank fraud. Concurrently, Montgomery was arrested for dealing heroin in a completely different state. He pleaded guilty to all counts and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He claims that all of this was in a desperate effort to get back into the running game: an old track coach of his headed the bank fraud conspiracy and the heroin dealing was in an effort to make money. The suspension from Track and Field followed by being arrested and sentenced to prison put a lot of strain on his family life. However, Montgomery was able to keep in touch with his parents and his siblings. He also managed to communicate with one of his old girlfriends and his daughter throughout his time there. In fact, the two got married while he was still in prison. He also took that time to think back on his life and all of the mistakes that he made. He continued to keep in shape and train, racing against the other inmates. He quickly found a way to bond with his daughter over their shared passion of Track and Field. Years after his release from prison, Tim Montgomery is now 42 and he trains young Track and Field athletes through a program called N.U.M.A. Speed, which stands for Never Underestimate My Ability. He is very thankful for his family and his second chance at life. I am very happy that he was able to turn his life around and become the person that he wants to be. The path to get there was a struggle to say the least, but his outlook is that if he had not been through it, his story would not have been able to reach millions of people like it did. It is clear that he has been able to find peace with his past.