Los Angeles - US distance runner Alysia
Montano believes proven dope cheats should be banned from competing at the
Olympics - and that includes probable track and field team-mates Justin Gatlin
and Tyson Gay.
The 29-year-old 800m and 1,500m star is one
of the biggest victims of the Russian doping scandal which has rocked world
athletics, estimated to have been robbed of four medals by rivals who later
failed drug tests.
Montano told reporters at the United States
Olympic team media summit on Monday she believed US team bosses should take a
zero tolerance approach to athletes who had failed drug tests by barring them
Gatlin, the 2004 Athens Olympic 100m gold medallist
has failed two dope tests during his career but has returned to competition and
represented the United States at the 2012 Olympics as well as the World
Gay, who failed a drug test in 2013,
returned to competition last year and competed at the World Championships in
Beijing where he reached the 100m final.
Montano takes a dim view of the idea that
Gatlin and Gay may well be her team-mates in Rio de Janeiro this August.
Asked if she believed they should be
allowed to run, Montano told reporters: "No. I don't think so at all. As a
US athlete I know 'Support your team-mates' and that. But my team-mates are
Montano, dismissed explanations both Gatlin
and Gay had offered over the years for their positive tests.
"Excuses are like - well, you know
what the saying is. Everyone's got one," she said. "I think you are
100 percent held accountable for what you put in your body. You can't say 'Oh
someone gave me a massage' or 'Oh I didn't know'.
"They have a list of what you can and
cannot take. These people just want to play the naive card and we're too old
for that. We're not in pre-school. Sorry. ... I don't care if that's a bold
statement, it's true."
Montano said she had been left stunned last
year after attending a music awards ceremony in which a convicted dope cheat
had received praise.
"I thought 'What the hell is wrong
with the culture of track and field?' Why can't we recognize that we should not
celebrate old dopers? Once a doper always a doper," she said.
Montano finished fifth in the 800m at the
2012 Olympics, behind Russian gold medallist Mariya Savinova and bronze medallist
Ekaterina Poistogova. Both women were recommended for lifetime bans from
athletics after last November's bombshell World Anti-Doping Agency report that
documented systematic doping in Russian athletics.
If confirmed that could see Montano
elevated into a medal position.
"What I get emotional about is the
fact that these people are stealing the idea from our children of what the idea
of amazing is when they see incredible performances - and that pisses me
off," Montano said.