Tim Montgomery rose to fame as a world-renowned Olympian, thanks to his remarkable antics on the track. Sadly, his sports empire came crumbling down following his brush with drug use and other illegal activities.
Sports Veteran Tim Montgomery is the subject of one of the biggest sports scandals in history, which eventually led to his arrest and five-year jail sentence.
Remarkably, the star picked himself back up after his release and managed to rebuild his empire in Atlanta's 4x100 meters relay team, placing second. He competed in his first international tournament a year later, taking home the bronze medal at the World Championship.
American sprinter, Tim Montgomery competes in the 100 meters in the USATF nationals at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field on June 23, 2002 | Photo: Getty Images
In September 2002, Montgomery achieved his history-defining feat when he completed the 100-meter race in 9.78 seconds. The feat made him the 100-meter world record holder until the record was nullified in 2005 for drug-related discoveries.
His sports achievements earned him everything one could craveꟷ fame, money, multiple cars, coveted Olympic medals, and the love of the fastest woman in the world, Marion Jones, with whom he shared a son.
Sadly, just as fast as they came, everything the sports legend gathered over the years was gone, leaving him in a pool of regret.
American sprinter, Tim Montgomery smiles as he finishes first in the men's 100 meters at the IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka's Nagai Stadium, 10 May 2003 | Photo: Getty Images
THE FALL FROM GRACE
In 2005, the United States sport governing body stripped the former world's fastest man of his world records, medals, and other awards received in his sports career.
The rash decision followed a drug scandal in which Montgomery admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in front of a grand jury at the San Francisco federal courthouse in November 2003.
The athlete also admitted to obtaining steroids and human growth hormones from BALCO, a San Francisco laboratory that was nose-deep in the drug sports scandal.
Tim Montgomery looks up as he answers a question during a news conference in Osaka, 09 May 2003 | Photo: Getty Images
Following the court proceedings, the United States Anti-Doping Agency banned Montgomery from the sport as a penalty for his misdemeanor. The icon tried appealing the case but was found guilty by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The court found him guilty, imposed a two-year ban on him, and stripped him of all his sports medals, records, and achievement since 2001. Following the ban, Montgomery announced his retirement.
United States 4x100M anchor runner Tim Montgomery crosses the finish line to win the men's 4x100M final at the 8th World Championships in Athletics 12 August, 2001, in Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada | Photo: Getty Images
NOSE-DEEP IN LEGAL SCANDALS
A year after stepping down from competitive sports, Tim Montgomery seemed to spiral from bad to worse. In 2006, he landed himself in a money-laundering scandal.
The retired track sprinter earned 46 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to the check fraud, admitting he tried to deposit three checks worth $775,000.
US sprinter Tim Montgomery celebrates after winning the 100m ahead of Nigerian Aaron Egbele and US Brian Lewis in the Grand Prix II meeting 25 April 2004 Fort de France, Martinique | Photo: Getty Images
In October that same year, the former Olympic gold-medalist earned an additional five-year sentence on heroin charges, having pleaded guilty to the charges in July.
The court document showed that the track star was charged with a conspiracy to possess, with intent to use 100 grams of heroin. Although he denied knowing the charges at first, the star eventually pleaded guilty.
Tim Montgomery of the USA celebrates a new world record of 9.78 seconds after the Men's 100 metres at the 18th IAAF Grand Prix Final held at the Stade Charlety, in Paris, France on September 14, 2002 | Photo: Getty Images
THE FALL OF MARION JONES
In the heat of his drug scandals and legal feud, Montgomery notably did not go down alone. His former girlfriend, Marion Jones, was implicated in his money-laundering case, serving six months in jail for her attempt to cover up Montgomery's check-fraud scam and lying about her steroid use.
Additionally, the female Olympian who won the women's 100 meters at the 200 Sydney Games also got caught up in the BALCO case. Jones ended up being stripped of her five 2000 Olympic medals and getting banned from sports.
Marion Jones speaks to the media outside a United States federal courthouse October 5, 2007 in White Plains, NY | Photo: Getty Images
LIFE AFTER PRISON
Tim Montgomery stepped out of the detention facility in May 2012, returning home to his wife, Jamalee, and their kids. The two tied the knot in 2009, during the athlete's stint in prison. At the time, they shared a six-year-old daughter.
Following his release from jail, the sprinter was forced to work in a halfway house construction, earning 12 cents a day as part of his release conditions. Montgomery explained:
"I had earned a couple of million dollars in my track career. And now I had to humble myself to work for 12 cents a day."
Tim Montgomery of USA after the 100 metres Heats during the Norwich Union London Grand Prix on August 8, 2003 at Crystal Palace in London, England | Photo: Getty Images
He endured those harsh conditions for three months before finally setting his life back on track. His first step was forging a relationship with his daughter, Tymiah. The task proved difficult at first, as he tried to be careful about what he injected into her life despite her unwillingness to associate with him.
Eventually, the two bonded over their passion for track, further becoming inseparable following a femur injury that left Tymiah wheelchair-bound for two years.
However, he didn't have much luck with his son, Monty, as Marion tried keeping the track star as far away from the boy's life as possible, demanding full custody.
Marion Jones talks with Tim Montgomery at a press conference in Madrid 19 September 2002, ahead of the 2002 athletics World Cup in Madrid | Photo: Getty Images
WHAT HAS MONTGOMERY BEEN UP TO?
Embracing his athletic talents, Montgomery kicked off a career as an athletic coach, training athletes and prospective athletes on the ins and outs of the track.
Before long, he established NUMA Speed, an elite training facility geared towards coaching athletes across all ages and disciplines.
American sprinter Tim Montgomery during the 100-meters of the Golden League Meeting in Oslo on July 13, 2001 | Photo: Getty Images
The acronym, which stands for Never Underestimate My Ability, vividly defines one of the greatest lessons Montgomery picked up from his scandalous past and his miraculous comeback. He once shared:
"I didn't think that I could achieve what I'm achieving now. I thought my success was an athlete."
In his journey as an athletic coach, the legendary Olympic medalist has strained several groundbreaking professional athletes. One of his outstanding trainees is Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Freddie Swain, who has been under his tutelage since the ninth grade.
Tim Montgomery talks to the press, 22 August 2003 in Saint-Denis, on the eve of the opening of the 9th IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris | Photo: Getty Images
So far, Swain has been impressed by the legends' remarkable coaching antics and is resolved to stick with him irrespective of the circumstances. Aside from Swain, other Gators patronize the 46-year-old's sports facility, which has fast gained popularity in the Gainesville community in Florida.
Meanwhile, Montgomery has found his long-sought-after fulfillment from watching his clients achieve their training goals. Their moments of victory admittedly reminded him of his heroic days on the tracks like a professional sprinter.
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