STATEMENT OF CHARLIE FRANCIS
For release to the Press: January 31, 2003
The current public controversy surrounding my relationship with Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, requires me to issue my first statement to the press in 15 years.
It is regrettable that outstanding athletes and fine human beings such as Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery are being publicly vilified because of their association with me. I am saddened that Tim and Marion have had to endure not only controversy, but also criticism and erroneous statements regarding our relationship.
I have been and continue to be a consultant to a number of elite athletes in different sports. Over the past 15 years, I have not encouraged, nor condoned the taking of banned performance enhancing substances by any of the athletes who have consulted me. This will continue to be and an integral part of my practice in the future.
The professional and personal relationship which has developed amongst Tim, Marion and myself has been most gratifying. The fact that Tim and Marion sought me out as their consultant, knowing that they would be subjected to increased public scrutiny as a result, speaks volumes for their personal integrity and human decency. Their actions should put to rest any suggestion that they sought my assistance for anything other than the technical training that I could provide. To any rational observer, their deliberate choice of me as their consultant should be sufficient evidence that they do not use banned substances, since by their mere association with me they knew that they would be subjected to public scrutiny and unjustified cynicism.
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.