T Nation

Montgomery, Jones, Francis

So…many of you will no doubt know that Tim Montgomery (current 100m world record holder-9.78s) and Marion Jones have elicited the help of t-mag contirbuter Charlie Francis in there training.

This is from a Charlie Francis Press Release.

"...Indeed, while I have been an outspoken critic of the track and field establishment, my comments were made in the hope that this sport could make significant advances without the use of banned substances. My professional consulting practice, my marriage to Ange and our four year old son, James, mean too much to me to jeopardize by association with banned drugs. Tim and Marion have proven to me that athletic performances at the very highest level can be achieved without resort to performance enhancing drugs. They have given me faith in the future of the sport, one in which our son might participate and enjoy, as Tim and Marion so obviously do."

Now, does that sound like the same person that wrote the following for t-mag?

T: We like to joke at T-mag that the scientists administering the drugs to the Olympic athletes need gold medals of their own. Are there any clean athletes left at the Olympic level in sprinting?

CF: When I testified at the Dubin Inquiry all those years ago, the information I had was that the number of athletes using performance enhancing drugs, at the Olympic level, was about 80%. The IAAF secretary, John Holt, said that my charges were "wildly exaggerated" and said his research showed it was only 30 to 40%, which he obviously considered to be acceptable. Whether it's 30, 40, 50, or 100% is immaterial. The dividing line is not left and right, with the drug free on one side and the dirty cheats on the other. It's divided horizontally with those above the line on the drugs and those below, perhaps being clean.

T: So would it be fair to say that only the losers are clean?

CF: If anyone is clean, it's going to be the losers. The irony becomes that in order for an athlete to be an anti-doping advocate he must be, as a general rule, on drugs! How else would he rise to such a level of prominence so that he would have a platform from which to speak?

T: You've pointed out that the standards are set so high that clean athletes don't stand a chance. Yet the standard setters then take a moralistic stance against performance enhancing drug use.

CF: The testimony at the Dubin Inquiry is clear: no one knew of any example of a shot putter who ever threw 20 meters clean. The standard for getting on the Canadian Olympic team in 1988 was 20.50! This was commented on in the Dubin Report as proof of encouraging drug use. The response by the Canadian Olympic Association was to raise the standards for the 1992 games to 20.85! Then they said they were glad they ignored the Dubin Report because, and I quote, "Excellence is still the goal of the Canadian Olympic Association."

So does anyone care to comment? What is really happening?

That could very well be the same guy. In the T-mag interview, he espoused that none of the top athletes competed cleanly (which is an opinion that goes over well with T-mag and its readers in general). Now he wants us to believe that he thinks top notch athletes can compete drug-free. Does this seem dubious to me? Kind of, yeah. Does it seem impossible? Not completely. Also keep in mind that the quote you started with is a public one (in a public non-T forum), and so it may be said for other reasons than the truth, or possibly exaggerated.

My kayaking coach was in the 1996 Olympics. Placed 22nd clean.

He knows several top athletes and claims almost every top athlete has used at least once in their lifetime. Medal winners are almost guaranteed. It's simply a fact of life. With so many cheaters, you're going to be screwed without cheating as well.

My coach was 22nd in the world and had a race time within a few seconds of the guy in first place. All-natural. That's just as good or maybe an even greater accomplishment than a first place cheater.

I'll get off my soap-box now. :)