Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones, at one time the world’s fastest couple, were so relaxed about their use of performance-enhancing drugs that, according to Montgomery, they kept their drugs in the fridge “next to the vegetables”. And Montgomery tended to keep his syringes “under a pile of clothes”.

From his prison in Alabama, where he is due to spend the next six years, Montgomery told the story of their extraordinarily elite union: he, the world record-holder, and she, the fastest woman of her generation, a union that coolly thrived on pharmaceutical deception. The way Montgomery tells it: “An athlete can be so consumed by being great. And we were too similar, we both wanted to achieve at any cost and you can’t have two people like that together.”

Their characters were also twinned in that they registered not a flicker of remorse about the illegal means with which they conquered their sport. “We did discuss doping,” he says. “But we just discussed the fact that we thought everyone was doing it.”…..

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