Sprinter Montgomery took steroids

Tim Montgomery says he started taking performance-enhancing drugs because he wanted to beat American sprint rival Maurice Greene and become the fastest man in the world.

The former 100-meter world-record holder, who also said he and former partner Marion Jones stored their steroids in the refrigerator “next to the vegetables,” spoke to The Times newspaper from a federal prison in Alabama where he is serving time for bank fraud and drug dealing.

“Maurice got in my head real bad,” Montgomery said in the interview, which was published Friday. “I wanted everything that he had.”

Montgomery criticizes Greene for “clowning the other athletes.” And it was after the 1999 world championships in Seville, Spain, that Montgomery decided do something.

“I would give anything to be the world's fastest,” said Montgomery, who left coach Steve Riddick and joined doping-tainted coach Trevor Graham. “I wouldn't let anything get in my way.”

Montgomery never tested positive for drugs, but he was linked to the BALCO doping investigation and has admitted that he doped before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He retired after the ban was imposed in 2005.

Montgomery said he and Jones became an item in 2002 after spending several hours talking on a flight to Rome.

“Two hours later we were alone in a hotel room together. Two weeks after that we were crowned the world's fastest couple. And six months after that she was pregnant,” said Montgomery, who added that Jones could make herself cry for the cameras.

“Her best work was when she passed a lie detector test.”

A short time after they got together, Montgomery set the world record in the 100 in Paris, running 9.78 seconds — one hundredth of a second faster than Greene's previous record but now wiped from the books.

Despite his success, Montgomery said Jones was the “prima donna” of Graham's group of track athletes, and added that he was dating her for the public and not for himself.

“An athlete can be so consumed by being great,” Montgomery said. “And we were too similar, we both wanted to achieve at any cost and you can't have two people like that together.”

Last year, Jones served six months in prison for perjury in the BALCO case. She never tested positive for doping, but was stripped of her five medals from the Sydney Games after admitting that she was doping at the time.

Montgomery is now in a minimum security prison in Montgomery, Ala., and works as a landscaper. But he said he has had some tough moments since being locked up, including having to beat up a pedophile cellmate in a New York prison because otherwise “the other inmates would have thought I was soft.”

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