Sprinter admonishes those involved in steroids flap
NEW YORK -- Maurice Greene has a message for Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and anyone else implicated in the latest steroids mess: Deal with the consequences.
Greene said Monday he stands behind the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rule that can bar an athlete from competing in the Athens Olympics without a positive drug test. On Sunday, Jones said she would go to court if USADA held her out because of the rule.
Jones and Montgomery, who are dating and have a son together, were among several athletes who testified before a grand jury in the BALCO drug investigation.
"I stand behind USADA and everything that they do," Greene said at the final day of the U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit. "The whole thing with this BALCO case, they made the stuff to be undetectable so they weren't supposed to find it. What do you do if you know a person that possessed some of the stuff or had some dealings with this company?
"There is no room in our sport for drug cheaters whatsoever."
USADA has the power to bring a drug case against an athlete in lieu of a positive test when the agency has "other reason to believe that a potential doping violation has occurred, such as admitted doping," according to its rules.
Greene and Montgomery have had a heated rivalry over the last three years. Montgomery took the 100-meter world record from Greene in 2002, and Greene has repeatedly stated he wants the mark back.
Montgomery probably will be even less fond of Greene now. Greene believes Jones and Montgomery have a difficult road ahead of them.
"It's going to be tough for [Jones]," Greene said. "They're afraid right now. If your name came up in that situation, you're afraid. Their job is tougher than mine."
World champion hurdler Allen Johnson understands both sides to the debate over the USADA rule.
But he would not say which side he was on.
"We're faced with a situation where you have people who were taking a synthetic steroid that was designed in a lab and designed so that the tests did not detect it," Johnson said. "Is it fair to ban someone who has not tested positive? If you just look at it that way, you say of course not.
"But at the same time if you know someone who does take something that's not detectable, what do you do? We don't have a definite answer. But I know USADA is trying to do what is in the best interest of the sport."
Jones has responded to the repeated questions about the drug implications with a calm demeanor. But Greene believes she is more worried than she seems.
"You can act like that all you want, but in the back of your mind ... you have something else on your plate to deal with," Greene said. "You wake up thinking I have to do this, this and this, then I have to talk to my lawyer."
And he believes that takes away from preparation for track and field.
"I'm including whoever had anything to do with that," Greene said. "They're not able to concentrate 100 percent on what they do. It's going to take away from their training. As a top athlete, most of us have the ability. It's the mental aspect that puts us over the top. They won't have the 100 percent mental aspect of it."
This month, the Senate agreed to release to Olympic officials evidence that a committee collected on use of banned performance-enhancing drugs among athletes.
Officials wanted the Senate committee to turn over information received from the Justice Department regarding the BALCO steroids so they could be sure to field a clean team in Athens.
Jones is among several star athletes, including Barry Bonds, who appeared before a grand jury focusing on possible tax and drug violations by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
An appearance before the grand jury, or being subpoenaed to testify, doesn't mean an athlete is a target of the probe.
Greene takes extra precautions to make sure he is in control of everything that goes into his body. When he eats at restaurants, he drinks bottled water only. He thinks there is a chance some people could miss the Aug. 13-29 games because of the USADA rule.
"There might be ... but if you don't deal with these people you shouldn't have anything to worry about," he said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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