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Montgomery Is Not a Factor

World-record holder in 100 meters is seventh at Prefontaine Classic. Gatlin wins in 9.84.

June 05, 2005|From Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — Justin Gatlin wanted to prove he deserved Olympic gold. Tim Montgomery wanted to clear his mind.

Montgomery finished seventh in the 100 meters at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, well behind winner Gatlin. The meet, at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, is part of the USA Track and Field's Visa Championship Series.

Montgomery has an arbitration hearing Monday in San Francisco that will determine whether he can continue to compete because of allegations he used performance-enhancing substances.

"I came out here just to race, just to see how I feel," he said. "As much as I try to go out there with a clear mind, I just can't kid myself."

Montgomery, the world-record holder in the 100, and girlfriend Marion Jones, a five-time medalist at the Sydney Olympics, have been linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, which allegedly supplied performance-enhancing substances to elite athletes.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is seeking to ban Montgomery from competition for life based on secret documents the U.S. Senate obtained last year from the BALCO investigation and forwarded to the doping agency.

Montgomery is challenging USADA's recommendation before the Court of Arbitration for Sport during a closed-door hearing. He will appear, but he doesn't know whether he will have to testify.

Montgomery on Saturday denied again ever using performance-enhancing substances -- knowingly or unknowingly.

Gatlin, who won in the 100 in Athens, beat Asafa Powell of Jamaica at the line in a wind-aided 9.84 seconds. Montgomery's time was 10.10.

"I know as an Olympic champion, I've got to come out here and prove I'm the greatest," Gatlin said.

The meet is named after Steve Prefontaine, an Oregon native who ran in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Prefontaine died in a car accident after a race at Hayward Field in 1975.

In other events Saturday, Xiang Liu of China, the Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in the 110 hurdles, made his U.S. debut and won in 13.06, a Prefontaine and Hayward Field record. American Allen Johnson was disqualified after causing a second false start.

In the women's 100, Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams won in 11.16. The gold medalist in Athens, Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus, finished last in 11:47, in her first appearance in the U.S.

Eliude Kipchoge of Kenya won the Prefontaine's special two-mile race in 8:07.68.

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