A former World's Fastest Man (WFM) has slowed considerably over the years and will be slowing even more after recent events. Tim Montgomery, who set the world record in the 100 meters in 2002 with a time of 9.78 seconds now finds himself sharing a room with pedophiles and murderers. He's currently residing in a Virginia jail.
All of his performances after March 31, 2001, including the world record performance, were wiped from the books, and he was banned from track for two years, for doping linked to the investigation of BALCO. Even though Montgomery never tested positive for drugs, he decided to retire after the ban was imposed.
And on Friday, a federal judge sentenced the former track star to nearly four years in prison for dealing in bad checks. This was the same scheme that currently has Marion Jones serving time and ultimately led her to admit to using PED's.
"The gold medal, all those people cheering, that was part of another world," he said. "In jail, my status is gone."
I would hope your status is gone in jail. What, were you expecting raucous applause when you arrived first in line for breakfast? Your status could be gone for much longer.
Judge Kenneth Karas also warned Montgomery, 33, that the evidence against him "does not appear to be flimsy" in the ongoing case in Virginia, where he is accused of selling heroin. A conviction there would carry a minimum mandatory five-year sentence.
Montgomery told the judge he had let other people run his life, right down to deciding what to eat for breakfast. And his lawyer, Timothy Heaphy, said Montgomery had been led astray by, among others, track superstar Marion Jones.
The check case also ensnared Montgomery's former coach, gold medalist Steve Riddick, and agent, Charles Wells. Both pleaded guilty. All told, this group was planning on depositing $5 million worth of false checks.
But the judge said others were not to blame in the check case.
"`You should commit bank fraud' is not the same as `You should eat Wheaties,"' Karas said. "There is not a single shred of evidence here that this was anyone else's fault."
I agree with the judge on this one here. Whenever it hits the fan, the first thing most people do is look for someone to point the finger at. Tim is pointing the finger at everyone in his circle. Everyone loved you when you were hopped up on roids breaking records and becoming the WFM, but now you need to face the fact that no one put the proverbial gun to your head and made you pass bogus checks or sell $9,000 of heroin. At some point Tim, you have to take responsibility for your actions, all of them.