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Encyclopedia > Ben Johnson (athlete)
Olympic Medal Record
Men's Athletics
Disqualified 1988 Seoul 100m
Bronze 1984 Los Angeles 100m
Bronze 1984 Los Angeles 4x100m Relay

Benjamin Sinclair "Ben" Johnson CM (born December 30, 1961) is a controversial former Canadian athlete, best known for his disqualification for doping use after winning the 100 m final in the 1988 Summer Olympics. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Games of the XXIV Olympiad were held in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. ... The Games of the XXIII Olympiad were held in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, United States. ... The Games of the XXIII Olympiad were held in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, United States. ... The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means, Desiring a better country. ... December 30 is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 1 day remaining. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Athletics, also known, especially in American English, as track and field or track and field athletics, is a collection of sport events, which can roughly be divided into running, throwing, and jumping. ... Doping drugs on display at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland In sports, doping refers to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, particularly those that are forbidden by the organizations that regulate competitions. ... (Redirected from 100 m) 100m is the classic sprint race distance. ... The Games of the XXIV Olympiad were held in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. ...


Born in Falmouth, Jamaica, Johnson emigrated to Canada in 1976. His first major international race was the 100 metre event at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, where he was eliminated in the semi-finals, finishing 6th with a time of 10.44. Falmouth is the chief town and capital of Trelawny parish, Jamaica. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1976 calendar). ... Province Southern Finland Region Uusimaa Sub-region Helsinki City manager Jussi Pajunen Official languages Finnish, Swedish Area  - total  - land ranked 342nd 185. ...


The following year, Johnson reached the final of the 100 m at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, finishing third behind Carl Lewis and Sam Graddy with a time of 10.22. With a Canadian 4 x 100 m relay team of Ben, Tony Sharpe, Desai Williams, and Sterling Hinds, running a time of 38.70 he won a second bronze medal. The Games of the XXIII Olympiad were held in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, United States. ... Nickname: City of Angels Official website: http://www. ... Frederick Carlton Carl Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former athlete who won 10 Olympic medals (9 golds) during his career (1984 to 1996), and 8 World Championship gold medals, and 1 bronze (1983 to 1993). ... Samuel Louis Sam Graddy III (born February 10, 1964) is a former American athlete and American football player, winner of gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1984 Summer Olympics. ...


By the end of the 1984 season, Johnson had established himself as Canada's top sprinter, and on August 22 in Zurich, Switzerland, he bettered Williams' Canadian record of 10.17 by running 10.12.

Contents


Road to the 1988 Olympics

At age 15, Johnson met coach Charlie Francis. Francis convinced him to join the Scarborough Optimists track and field club, training at York University. He also advised Johnson to get speech therapy to overcome his stutter. Charlie was a Canadian 100 metre sprint champion himself (1970, 1971 and 1973). He competed for Canada in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, reaching the second round with times of 10.51 and 10.68. His personal best was 10.39. Francis was Canada's national sprint coach for nine years. Charlie Francis, a former sprinter was coach to a number of Canadian sprinters including Ben Johnson. ... York University (YorkU) is a large comprehensive university, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX. Olympiad, were held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972. ... Munich and the Bavarian Alps Munich (German: München, (pronounced listen) is the largest city and capital of the German Federal State of Bavaria. ...


According to Francis, Johnson was a poor runner when he first started training. Francis says once a particularly slow kid quit the team, citing the reason, "even Ben is beating me."


It was in a quiet meeting with Francis, in Toronto in September 1981, three months before his 20th birthday that Francis brought up the subject of steroids. He informed Johnson that steroids represented 1% of performance, or the equivalent of one metre in the 100 metres, and he suggested that it was time to put Johnson in touch with his doctor. And it was a few days later that Johnson phoned Francis. He had made up his mind, and yes, he wanted that extra metre. Template:Hide = Motto: Template:Unhide = Diversity Our Strength Established: March 6, 1834 Area: East to West: 43 km North to South: 21 km629. ... Anabolic steroids are a class of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of several types of tissues, especially muscle and bone. ... 100 m is the classic sprints race distance. ...


By the time that Johnson started taking steroids in 1981, Ben's future rival Carl Lewis had already become accustomed to having people accuse him of doing the same. The rumours connecting Lewis to drugs began at college, they were inflated at the World Championships in 1983 and went so far as to take the shape of a story that he was on gorilla hormone and that a cyst the size of a golf ball had grown on his chest. Frederick Carlton Carl Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former athlete who won 10 Olympic medals (9 golds) during his career (1984 to 1996), and 8 World Championship gold medals, and 1 bronze (1983 to 1993). ... This is an article about cysts in the body. ...


1982 saw Ben grab two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, one of which was the 100 metres. He finished behind Alan Wells of Scotland with a time of 10.07. Ben would eventually win Commonwealth gold at the 1986 games in Edinburgh, beating a young Linford Christie for the 100 metre title with a time of 10.07. Ben also lead the Canadian 4x100 m relay team to gold, and added to the medal haul by nabbing a bronze in the 200 metres. Current flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation Locations of the games, and participating countries The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport event held every four years involving the elite athletes of the Commonwealth of Nations. ... For other uses, see Edinburgh (disambiguation). ... Linford Christie Linford Christie, OBE (born April 2, 1960) is a former British athlete and the only man ever to win Olympic, World, Commonweath and European 100 m gold medals. ...


However, it was the rivalry with Carl Lewis that will go down in history. Frederick Carlton Carl Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former athlete who won 10 Olympic medals (9 golds) during his career (1984 to 1996), and 8 World Championship gold medals, and 1 bronze (1983 to 1993). ...


In 1985, after seven consecutive losses, Johnson did finally beat Lewis and he would spend the next two years repeating the trick (most notably at the 1986 Goodwill Games, where he embarrassed Lewis running 9.95 for first place, against Lewis' third-place 10.06 time). Johnson's time of 9.95 seconds was the fastest ever recorded at sea level. The Goodwill Games were an international athletics competition, created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympics of the 1980s. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ...


While the events of 1986 were impressive, the enormity of Seoul 1988 was based hugely on the events of 1987.


In May 1987, Lewis’s father died of cancer and it was at the funeral that Lewis pulled from his pocket his gold medal from the Los Angeles 100 metres and put it in his father’s hands. “I want you to have this,” he said, “because it was your favorite event.” When his mother expressed her surprise, he said calmly: “Don’t worry, I’ll get another one.” Gold Medal is an album by American band The Donnas, released in 2004. ...


But by the time of the World Championships, later that summer, Johnson had won their previous four races and Lewis’s words were beginning to look foolhardy. And Rome would only rubber-stamp the fact that Johnson had dethroned the king. Ben breezed through qualifying, winning his first heat (10.24), quarter-final (10.14), and semi-final (10.15) with ease. In the finals, however, Ben stepped it up a notch, smashing the world record, in 9.83 seconds, almost exactly a metre ahead of Lewis, exactly the lead that Francis once told him the steroids could provide. For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ...


All Lewis could manage in return was a controversial interview on British television. “There are gold medallists at this meet who are on drugs,” he said. “That (100 metres) race will be looked at for many years, for more reasons than one.” To which Johnson later replied: “When Carl Lewis was winning everything, I never said a word against him. And when the next guy comes along and beats me, I won’t complain about that either.”


Going into 1988, then, the “great 100 metres duel” barely existed as a phenomenon because Johnson was so far ahead. Johnson had indeed inherited the earth: he had meanwhile become a massive commercial magnet and in Canada, the desertion of Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton for the Los Angeles Kings would ensure that he became the foremost national sporting treasure. For Canadians, Johnson was putting one over big brother next door and they loved him for it. Wayne Gretzky playing for the Edmonton Oilers in 1984 This person is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. ... The Los Angeles Kings are a National Hockey League team based in Los Angeles, California, USA. // Facts Founded: 1967 Arena: Staples Center Former Home Arenas: Long Beach Sports Arena (part of 1967), Los Angeles Sports Arena (part of 1967); The Forum (1967-1999) Uniform colors: Purple, black, and silver Logo...


But, in almost every way, 1988 would be a terrible year for him. In February he pulled a hamstring in Tokyo at the start of the season, in May he would aggravate the same injury and in June he found himself the centre of a power struggle between Francis and Jamie Astaphan, the doctor who monitored his drugs programme. And all the while, Lewis was finding his form. In Paris in June, Lewis ran a 9.99 and boasted: “All I know is that I’m running better than ever and Ben isn’t running at all.”


Ben ran a 9.90 wind assisted time in the Canadian Championships in early August, and won again in Sestriere, with a 9.98 seconds at a higher altitude.


Then in Zurich, on August 17, when the two faced each other for the first time since Rome, Lewis won in 9.93 with Johnson finishing third. “The gold medal for the (Olympic) 100 metres is mine,” Lewis bragged afterwards. “I will never again lose to Johnson.” Location within Switzerland   Zürich[?] (German pronunciation IPA: ; usually spelled Zurich in English) is the largest city in Switzerland (population: 366,145 in 2004; population of urban area: 1,091,732) and capital of the canton of Zürich. ...


Four days after Zurich he lost again to Calvin Smith in Cologne which sent him back to Toronto.


Was Johnson panicked by all this into a late run to the drugs cabinet? Not according to Francis. In his book, Speed Trap, Francis relates that Johnson simply returned to Toronto to complete, as planned, his final pre-Olympic drugs programme: three steroid injections plus three more of human growth hormone. Thereafter, Johnson and Francis’s other sprinters would receive treatment on a diapulse machine, to help to remove the steroids from their systems, and later a diuretic to prevent weight gain. For physiology of human growth hormone, see growth hormone. ... A diuretic is any drug that elevates the rate of bodily urine excretion (diuresis). ...


The defeat by Lewis in Zurich, which ended Johnson's run of five victories over the Olympic champion since Los Angeles was, the Canadian said: "Because I was tired after my race in Sestriere (the week before), and we came down from altitude too late.


"Also my start was very bad. I guarantee this time, no one is going to beat me out of the blocks. I want to win that Olympic gold medal. He (Lewis) could beat me a thousand times, but as long as I win this one, it wouldn't matter.


"I feel exactly as I felt before Rome last year. I won't guarantee a time. But Carl Lewis has got to run my race, he's got to come and catch me. This is the ultimate moment of my life. I'm in my prime. I haven't run my best race yet. When I'm at my best, no one can beat me."


Johnson ran 9.79 after his worst year’s preparation, so how fast would he have gone had his body and his training not been afflicted by those two injuries?


World records and Olympic scandal

Johnson winning at the 1988 Olympic games
Johnson winning at the 1988 Olympic games

At the 1987 World Championships, in Rome, Johnson gained instant world fame when he beat Lewis for the title, setting a new world record of 9.83 seconds as well. Johnson won both the Lou Marsh Trophy and Lionel Conacher Award, and was named the Associated Press Athlete of the Year for 1987. Image File history File links I think it was shocking that Ben Johnson was caught. ... Image File history File links I think it was shocking that Ben Johnson was caught. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 2nd World Championships in Athletics under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations were held in the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy between August 28 and September 6. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... The Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually by a panel of journalists in recognition of Canadas top athlete. ... Lionel Conacher Award is an annual award given to Canadas best male athlete. ... In 1931, the first and most prestigious Athlete of the Year award in the United States was initiated by the Associated Press (AP). ...


On April 29, 1987, Ben Johnson was invested with the Order of Canada. "World record holder for the indoor 60-metre run, this Ontarian has proved himself to be the world's fastest human being and has broken Canadian, Commonwealth and World Cup 100-metre records," it read. "Recipient of the Norton Crowe Award for Male Athlete of the Year for 1985, 'Big Ben' was the winner of the 1986 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete." April 29 is the 119th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (120th in leap years). ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means, Desiring a better country. ...


After Rome, Johnson started to make a lot of money. According to coach Charlie Francis, after breaking the world record Johnson earned about $480,000 a month in endorsements.


September 24, 1988 was the date of the 100 metre final in Seoul. During the heats, Lewis' times were faster. Johnson did not look good and eased up too much in his second round, and only got through as a fastest loser. September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years). ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


However in the finals, all of that changed. Johnson burst out of the blocks, seized the lead, and held it. Lewis, on the other hand, got a characteristically slower start, but instead of accelerating past his adversary, he looked to his right three times, always to see Johnson in front of him. Before he even crossed the finish line, Ben raised his index finger to signal that he was still No. 1. Carl Lewis had run faster than in Rome — but lost by more. Johnson had smashed his own world record with a time of 9.79 seconds. Lewis finished second with a time of 9.92 seconds. Linford Christie of Great Britain finished third at 9.97 seconds. Linford Christie Linford Christie, OBE (born April 2, 1960) is a former British athlete and the only man ever to win Olympic, World, Commonweath and European 100 m gold medals. ...


Johnson led for the entire race, destroying the competition by hitting a maximum speed of 27 mph (43.4 km/h). It took him just 45 strides to reach victory after an explosive start from the blocks - once again demonstrating his ability to react incredibly quickly to the starter's gun, to the extent that it is said that he could almost secure a race in the first second. He slowed slightly in the last few metres to look across his shoulder and raise a finger of triumph in the air. He told reporters at the post-race news conference he felt easily capable of running an even faster time. "If I had gone through I would have got 9.75 - but I'm saving that for next year," he said.


It is worth putting his achievement in context. Between 1968 and 1983 the 100 m record was shaved by 0.04 s. In one year Johnson took 0.16s off the record.


The race was historic in more ways than one. Even in defeat, Lewis had achieved a new American record of 9.92 seconds. In addition, Britain's Linford Christie and Calvin Smith from the U.S. also dipped under 10 seconds, marking the first time four runners had bested that benchmark in a single race. When it was over, Lewis had little to say about Johnson. "I'm pleased with my performance," he maintained. "It's time to move on to the next event." For Johnson, however, the Olympics were over. And he had more than enough to savour. "The important thing was to beat Carl," he said. "Anyone can set a world record, but the gold medal is mine." Calvin Smith (born January 8, 1961) is a former sprint athlete from the United States. ...


Ben Johnson's resounding victory in the 100 metres sparked a wild celebration from Victoria to St. John's. Johnson's victory — Canada's first gold medal of the Games — provided an incredible lift for the Canadian athletes in Seoul, many of whom came to watch him race. Coach Francis nearly missed the race because he couldn't find a place to sit. Johnson's mother was there, but closed her eyes and prayed for the whole race. In Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney watched Johnson set a new world record (9.79 seconds) then congratulated the sprinter over the phone. "It's a marvellous evening for Canada," Mulroney said in the televised conversation. Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... Martin Brian Mulroney (born March 20, 1939), known as Brian Mulroney, was the eighteenth Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993. ...


Johnson’s urine sample was analysed on Sunday, September 25 at the IOC-accredited laboratory in Seoul, under the direction of Dr. Jongsei Park. As is customary practice, the specimen was split into two parts, the A and B samples. Only the A was tested and there were 90 nanograms of stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, found.


The laboratory did not know the identity of the athlete who had provided the sample they were testing. All they had was a code number, but Park, a member of the IOC medical commission, informed Prince Alexandre de Merode, the chairman, of the adverse finding. Under doping protocol there is no positive test until the B sample confirms the finding, which, in almost every case, it does.


The Prince was staying with the other IOC members in the Shilla Hotel, a newly appointed building in the centre of the city surrounded by a hilly garden, round the perimeter of which there were armed guards in sentry boxes. In the safe in his room, the Prince kept the list detailing which individual competitor corresponded with which code number. So it was the Prince who, sitting alone at his desk, was the first to know that the sample belonged to Johnson.


He immediately wrote a letter to Carol Anne Letheren, the chef de mission of the Canada team, informing her of the result and saying that a three-strong delegation could be present at the analysis of the B sample. This letter was hand-delivered to the Canadian headquarters at 1.45 am and Letheren was woken to read it.


Letheren alerted Dr. William Stanish, the chief medical officer of the Canada team, and they discussed the matter with two other officials and then with David Lyon, one of the two leaders of the athletics team, at about 7 am. Letheren, Lyon and Stanish next spoke to Francis for about an hour in the Canadian medical clinic.


They also discussed the finding and Stanish spoke with Dr. Jamie Astaphan, Johnson’s medical adviser, about what medication Johnson was taking and specifically about steroids. Both Astaphan and Francis denied that Johnson was taking hormone drugs.


Stanish, Francis and Lyon then went to the Olympic laboratory for the B sample analysis and were interviewed by three members of the IOC medical commission, Professor Arnold Beckett, of Britain, Professor Manfred Donike, of West Germany, and Park. Beckett’s opening words were: “We have a problem with the A sample, can you account for any adverse finding?” Because Stanish could not give any details about what medicines Johnson was taking, Lyon went to find the sprinter, who came to the laboratory carrying a bag containing several bottles and packets, as well as a two-page note from Astaphan providing details.


The drug was then disclosed as stanozolol and Beckett asked Johnson specifically whether he had taken anabolic steroids. Johnson denied it. The Canadians then ensured that the B sample to be tested was indeed that of Johnson before leaving.


At about 3.30 that afternoon, a meeting was convened in the suite at the Shilla with Dick Pound, a Canadian lawyer and IOC vice-president. Also present were Jim Worrall, the other Canadian IOC member, Dr Roger Jackson, president of the Canadian Olympic Association, Letheren, Francis, Stanish and Lyon. It was agreed that since Johnson had denied taking drugs, the defence would centre on the theory that the sample had been sabotaged. Richard W. Pound (born March 22, 1942) is the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) based in Montreal. ...


Pound contacted Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the IOC, to ensure that it was appropriate for him to represent Johnson. At 10pm he led the Canadian delegation at the meeting of the IOC medical commission, chaired by Merode and consisting of 26 people. After a two-hour discussion, the commission told the Canadians that it would be recommending Johnson’s disqualification at a meeting, eight hours later, of the executive board, which took place in another room at the Shilla, starting at 8.30 am. Juan Antonio Samaranch Juan Antonio Samaranch, Marquess de Samaranch (also known as Torello) (born July 17, 1920 in Barcelona) is a Spanish sports official and was president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001. ...


The Canadian delegation returned to its headquarters and Letheren retrieved the gold medal from Johnson and made arrangements for him, his mother, sister and Astaphan and his wife to be flown to Toronto. When they arrived at Seoul airport at about 8 am on that Monday, members of the world’s press were waiting for them. The word was out, and there was mayhem.


Aftermath of Seoul and the Dubin Inquiry

After the Seoul test he initially denied doping, but, testifying before the 1989 Dubin inquiry, a Canadian government investigation into drug abuse, he admitted that he had lied. Charlie Francis, his coach, told the inquiry that Johnson had been using steroids since 1981.


In Canada, the federal government established the Commission of Inquiry Into the Use of Drugs and Banned Practices Intended to Increase Athletic Performance, headed by Ontario Appeal Court Chief Justice Charles Dubin. The Dubin Inquiry, as it became known, heard hundreds of hours of testimony about the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among athletes. The Honourable Charles L. Dubin is a Canadian lawyer and former Chief Justice of Ontario. ...


The Dubin Inquiry began in January of 1989 and lasted 91 days with 122 witnesses including athletes, coaches, sport administrators, IOC representatives, doctors and government officials.


Astaphan was speaking on the second day of his evidence to the inquiry when the court heard tape recordings made in January, 1988, by Astaphan of conversations with people he said were Johnson, Pavoni, Angela Issajenko and Charlie Francis, their coach.


The man alleged to be Johnson was heard to say that he had not taken steroids since December, 1987 but he agreed he had "more left in the bottle". Astaphan recorded the conversations and stored copies in three separate bank vaults. He understood that if any of the athletes were caught they would deny they had knowingly taken the banned substances.


He confirmed earlier testimony that Johnson had come off banned drugs by September 2, three weeks before the 100 metres final. The drugs he was taking did not include stanozolol, which was found in his urine.


After the drug test had proved positive, he confronted Johnson three times in a room in the Hilton Hotel in Seoul and asked him whether he had taken pink tablets, the colour of stanozolol compounds. "He said `no'. But I knew he was lying from the sheepish look on his face he had done something," Astaphan said.


He said that Johnson was not "maliciously" lying and added that the sprinter, who had allegedly carried his drugs around in a blue Samsonite case, together with musical tapes, had acquired drugs from other sources. Samsonite is the world’s largest maker of luggage, making everything from large suitcases to smaller toiletries bags. ...


Top Canadian sprinter Angella Issajenko, Johnson's training partner, also testified at the Dubin Inquiry, detailing the use of steroids among Canadian track and field athletes, including Johnson and herself. Issajenko told the inquiry she had routinely injected Johnson with steroids supplied by Dr. Jamie Astaphan. She provided bottles containing what she was told was furazabol, but actually contained stanozolol. The inquiry concluded that Johnson had mistakenly taken stanozolol instead of another steroid. Angella Taylor (born September 28, 1958, in Jamaica) is a former Canadian sprinter. ...


Johnson admitted that his public statement of innocence immediately after the Seoul Olympics was untrue. Asked why he did not tell the truth he replied: "Because I lied and I was ashamed for my family, other Canadian athletes and the kids who looked up to me. I did not want to tell what the truth was. I was just in a mess."


While the Inquiry was underway (soon after Francis testified) the Ontario Track and Field Association and then the International Amateur Athletic Federation passed new rules stripping the records of athletes who confessed to drug use. Previously, the athlete had to fail their drug test to invalidate a record. The result was that Francis' group was punished, and from that point on athletes kept their mouths shut. Four world records were retroactively struck down: three of Johnson's, and one for Issajenko. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics (known in the US as track and field). It was founded in 1912 at its first Congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation. ...


Johnson's 1987 world record was removed by IAAF from the books as well. But Johnson and hundreds of other athletes have long complained that they used doping in order to remain on an equal footing with the other top athletes on drugs they had to compete against. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics (known in the US as track and field). It was founded in 1912 at its first Congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation. ...


Revelations since 1988

His claim bears some weight in light of the revelations since 1988. Including Johnson, four of the top five finishers of the 100-metre race have all tested positive for banned drugs at one point or another. They are Carl Lewis, who was given the gold medal, along with Linford Christie who was moved up to the silver medal, and Dennis Mitchell. Of these, only Johnson was forced to give up his records and his medals, although he was the only one of the four who tested positive or admitted using drugs during a medal-winning performance. Later, Christie was caught using steroids and banned. According to documents released in 2003 by a former senior US anti-doping official, Dr. Wade Exum, Lewis and two of his training partners all took the same three types of banned stimulants (ones found in over-the-counter cold medicine), and were caught at the 1988 US Olympic trials, which is the competition used to select the US athletes that will compete in the Olympics. Frederick Carlton Carl Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former athlete who won 10 Olympic medals (9 golds) during his career (1984 to 1996), and 8 World Championship gold medals, and 1 bronze (1983 to 1993). ... Linford Christie Linford Christie, OBE (born April 2, 1960) is a former British athlete and the only man ever to win Olympic, World, Commonweath and European 100 m gold medals. ... Dennis Allen Mitchell (born February 20, 1966) is a former American athlete, winner of gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1992 Summer Olympics. ...


Johnson's coach, Charlie Francis, a vocal critic of the IOC testing procedures, is the author of Speed Trap, which features Johnson heavily. In the book he freely admits that his athletes were taking anabolic steroids, as all top athletes are, but also shows why Ben Johnson could not possibly have tested positive for that particular steroid. Charlie Francis, a former sprinter was coach to a number of Canadian sprinters including Ben Johnson. ... Anabolic steroids are a class of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of muscle tissue and sometimes bone size and strength. ...


Claims of Sabotage

Of all the stories uncovered by Ben Johnson’s positive drugs tests, few were more curious than the mystery man seated alongside the Canadian sprinter in the waiting room at the main stadium as he was preparing to give his urine sample. Supporters of Johnson, particularly Charlie Francis in his book Speed Trap, seized on this lapse in security to claim that there had been sabotage. They argued that the sprinter had been deliberately given stanozolol, the anabolic steroid, possibly slipped into the beer he was drinking so that he could produce the urine specimen.


For Francis, it was the only rational reason for the positive test for stanozolol because he believed, wrongly, that his athlete was taking furazabol, which needed about 14 days to clear the body, rather than stanozolol, which required about 28 days.


Johnson and the mystery man were pictured together in the waiting room, chatting to each other. They had last seen each other in the Ritz, a private nightclub in Zürich, where both were attracted to the same supermodel. So Johnson, who was accompanied to the waiting area by Waldemar Matuszewski, his physiotherapist, talked to the man, much later revealed to be André Jackson, a French-born U.S. citizen. What they thought was a remarkable breach of drug-testing protocol was actually an officially authorized member of the Santa Monica Track Club and USA Track and Field. It would have been pretty unusual that any person who was not officially accredited could succeed in entering the waiting room for competitors preparing to give their samples, particularly in such a high-profile event as the 100 metres. Location within Switzerland (help· info) (German pronunciation IPA: ; in English often Zurich, without the umlaut) is the largest city in Switzerland (population: 366,145 in 2004; population of urban area: 1,091,732) and capital of the canton of Zürich. ... USA Track and Field is the authority on track and field events within the United States. ...


In the immediate aftermath of Johnson being disqualified, there was a widespread hunt for the “mystery man”, with one Canadian offering $10,000 if he would come forward. What Johnson did not know and has only subsequently been revealed is that Jackson, the sportsperson who travelled the world participating in track events, was a close comrade of Carl Lewis.


In his book, Inside Track, Lewis states: “I’m not sure how André got into that particular drug-testing room. He probably got his doping pass from an Olympic official. Anyway, I was surprised when I looked in the waiting area and saw André sitting with Ben. Once I had provided my urine sample, I left the drug-testing room and found André to ask him what was going on.”


Jackson sparked claims of sabotage when he was seen waiting with Johnson on the warm-up track and inside the drug-testing room.


Jackson said he was just waiting for Lewis and making sure he would be needed by Joe Douglas to serve as a witness for Lewis’ drug test. However, when Matuszewski then began using a machine to relieve Johnson’s leg cramps, Jackson decided to stay. Lewis wrote: “He [Jackson] and others on the track circuit knew about Ben doing drugs and he was suspicious about this machine. André had seen the therapist carry a medical bag into the room and he wanted to make sure that the therapist did not give Ben anything more than a rub-down before Ben urinated into his drug-test bottle.”


Sabotage was rejected by the IOC medical commission, but the Dubin Inquiry later examined whether the positive finding was the result of the actions of the stranger, whose identity was unknown at that stage, in the doping control room. They interviewed the Canadians who were with Johnson in the waiting room but said that there was no concrete evidence that Jackson had administered any drug to Johnson. Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction. ...


The plot thickens and becomes more interesting. According to the September 23, 2003 The Times of London, numerous attempts by Johnson along with his supporters were made to track Jackson down, but all attempts to locate the Mystery Man were unsuccessful. September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom. ...


Shortly after the Olympics, Jackson abandoned the track world and made considerable efforts to steer clear of Canada’s Dubin Inquiry or any other questions regarding American athletes using performing enhancing drugs. It was rumored that he was living in posh seclusion within the impoverished country of Zaïre, now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. This article deals with the former name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...


Johnson discovered from inside track sources that Jackson was quietly commuting between Zaïre, Dallas, Houston and Washington DC. He managed to obtain Jackson’s cell phone number and after months of frustrating calls, Johnson’s persistence pays off when Jackson unexpectedly answers the phone.


Following a brief telephone discussion, Jackson assured Johnson that he would receive a surprise visit when he is ready to have that discussion, as indicated by Johnson. A few days subsequent to that phone call, Jackson responded by calling to inform Johnson that he was en route to Toronto. He instructed Johnson to meet him at the airport and within two hours, Jackson’s chartered aircraft was landing at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport. Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in Mississauga, Ontario, immediately west of Toronto, is Canadas busiest and largest airport. ...


According to Johnson, the reunion was quite brief with Jackson openly admitting to saving Johnson some embarrassment at a pre-Olympic meet in Rome to expose him as the world watched on in Seoul. Johnson maintained that Jackson had finally admitted to being responsible for devising and implementing the biggest scandal in the history of sports.


The Mystery Man then turned and confidently strolled in the direction of his aircraft, without ever looking back, Johnson said.


At that moment, his unusual entrances, precise whereabouts and mysterious exits became just as puzzling as Ben Johnson’s positive urine sample in Seoul.


Canadian reaction to 9.79

Canadians rejoiced in the reflected glory of their hero and newspapers covered the occasion by concocting words such as "Benfastic" (Toronto Star, September 25, 1988). The Toronto Star is Canadas highest circulation newspaper, though its print edition is distributed almost entirely within Ontario. ...


Two days later, Canadians witnessed the downfall of their hero when he was stripped of his gold medal and world record after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid. In the first week following the de-throning, Canadian newspapers devoted between five to eight pages a day to the story. Television stations matched their efforts. Both the media and the public engaged in extensive efforts to "explain" this shattering event. Some squarely placed the blame on Ben, such as one headline right after the exposure suggests: "Why Ben? Why?" (Toronto Sun, September 26, 1988). Front page of the Toronto Sun, April 14, 2005. ... September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 96 days remaining. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Because of the Olympic scandal, The Canadian news agency, Canadian Press, named Johnson "Newsmaker of the Year" for 1988. The Canadian Press (CP) is a Canadian news agency established in 1917 as a vehicle to permit Canadian newspapers of the day to exchange their news and information. ... A Canadian Newsmaker of the Year has been voted every year since 1946 by the Canadian Press. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The impact of the positive test was felt along afterwards. Throughout the 80's and 90's many Canadian sprinters had to run in Johnson's shadow. For years Canadians could not discuss sprinting without evoking his name. While 1996 Olympic Champion Donovan Bailey was a household name in track-mad Europe, he was not nearly as popular in his native Canada, even when he was the 1995 World Champion. It wasn't until Bailey's 1996 record-setting performance in Atlanta, that sprinting entered the spotlight in Canada again. Donovan Bailey with one of his Olympic gold medals. ...


Meanwhile, Johnson is still a legendary figure in his home country. CBC has aired a number of specials, including Running Off Track: The Ben Johnson Story about him and the 1988 Olympic 100 metre final, and he is still stopped on the streets of Toronto for autographs. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Cipher-block chaining ...


Comeback attempt and last years of his career

Ben Johnson took his comeback from suspension seriously. He returned to his very first track coach, Percy Duncan, and fired his lawyer. He gave up his notorious nightlife and stopped indulging in junk food, pizza and fried chicken. He spent months with a York University psychologist, working on his self-confidence. He also overcame career-threatening knee tendonitis with nine months of rehab that included as much as eight hours of massage a day. Junk food is a derogatory term, used for any food that is perceived to be unhealthy and has low or poor nutritional value. ... A psychologist is a scientist who studies psychology, the systematic investigation of the human behavior and mental processes. ...


While suspended, Johnson took regular drug tests, and toured schools to talk to children about the dangers of drug abuse.


"Ben knows winning," said one sign. "He was framed," another claimed. After serving a two-year suspension from competition, Ben Johnson returned to the track for the Hamilton Indoor Games in 1991 and was greeted by the largest crowd to ever attend an indoor Canadian track and field event. More than 17,000 fans braved a snowstorm to see their fallen hero mount the comeback trail. He finished second in the 50 metres in 5.77 seconds


Ben still sought to race Carl Lewis. As he prepared for his comeback, he vowed to seek out Lewis "in his backyard, it doesn't matter where. I just want to come back clean, set a few records and beat Carl Lewis."


However, he failed to qualify for the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, but made the Canadian Olympic team again in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. The 3rd World Championships in Athletics, under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations, were held in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan between August 23 and September 1. ...


In Barcelona, Johnson avoided the media at every turn. There were reports that he was expelled from the athlete's village after pushing a security guard in a squabble over Johnson's security pass. On the track, things weren't much better for Ben. He missed the 100 metre finals, finishing last in his semifinal heat after stumbling out of the blocks.


Johnson says he felt persecuted by Canadian officials in Barcelona. He alleged that Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport chair Dr. Andrew Pipe rifled through his hotel room and kept him up until 2:30 a.m. on race day, demanding six urine samples. Pipe denied any inappropriate conduct.


His best time in the 100 metres since his 9.79 in 1988 was 10.16 seconds, 0.37 seconds slower than his banished world-record time.


In 1993 Ben seemed intent on taking his running back to an elite level. In January he announced: "I'm ready to do something this year. I'm going to shock the world again one more time."


He won the 50 metres Feb. 7 in Grenoble, France, in 5.65 seconds, just 0.04 seconds longer than the world record. On Feb. 18, he arrived in Winnipeg for the Canadian indoor championships. There he might have qualified for the world championships in Toronto. He was seen as a medal favorite. But, to the disapointment of many, he left Winnipeg complaining of a leg injury the same day he arrived. Location within France Grenoble (Occitan: Grasanòbol) is a city and commune in south-east France, situated at the foot of the Alps, at the confluence of the Drac into the Isère River. ... Motto: Unum Cum Virtute Multorum (One With the Strength of Many) Area: 465. ...


Johnson was tested three times in five days in Canada in January 1993. He failed the second of those, a random test administered to competitors at a meet in Montreal.


The data showed that Johnson had long maintained a ratio of 1-to-1 between the hormones testosterone and epitestosterone. Testosterone is a steroid-related substance that enables athletes to train strenuously and recover quickly. A 6-to-1 ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone is considered a positive test. Johnson's ratio was 10.3-to-1. Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. ...


He was banned by the International Amateur Athletics Federation for life.


Johnson denied using steroids and pointed to clean drug tests he'd taken before and after the event, on January 15 and January 21. But he said he could not afford to fight the results in court.


Pierre Cadieux, the Canadian sports minister, called him a "national disgrace" and suggested that he leave the country.


In April 1999, a Canadian adjudicator ruled that there were procedural errors in Johnson's lifetime ban, and allowed him to appeal. The decision meant Johnson could technically run in Canada, but nobody would compete against him. They would be considered "tainted" and could also face suspensions. On June 12, 1999, Johnson entered a track meet in Kitchener, Ontario, and was forced to run alone against the clock. He posted a time of 11.0 seconds. June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... For other uses of the word Kitchener please see Kitchener (disambiguation) Map of Waterloo Regional Municipality, Ontario with Kitchener in red. ...


He lost his appeal however and the International Amateur upheld the lifetime ban in August 1999. Johnson went back to Toronto and started work as a building contractor.


In late 1999 Johnson failed a drug test for the third time, this time for using hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic that can be used to mask the presence of other drugs. Johnson had not competed since 1993, and had arranged the test himself as part of his efforts to be reinstated. Johnson's agent, Morris Chrobotek, said Johnson needed the drug for a painful medical condition that caused him to retain water. Johnson said he had no reason to cheat. Hydrochlorothiazide (Apo-Hydro®, Aquazide H®, Microzide®, Oretic®), sometimes abbreviated HCT, HCTZ, or HZT is a popular diuretic drug that acts by inhibiting the kidneys ability to retain water. ...


In October 1999 in Charlottetown, Johnson entered his first "competition" since receiving his lifetime suspension: a charity race against two horses and a stock car. Some 7,000 fans braved a howling gale to see the outdoor race at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The distances were to be staggered, with Johnson running 80 m, the horses 100 m and 120 m, and the car 140 m. At the start of the race, the standardbred (named Wind-song) got spooked by the start of the stock car (Auto Plus No. 25), and took off early. Johnson was overtaken by the harness racing horse (Fast 'n Flashy) just before the finish line. He finished third, ahead of the stock car, which had lost traction in the muck. The benefit raised $10,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation. For the federal electoral district see Canadian city and the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island, with a population of 32,245 as of 2001. ...


Johnson also briefly acted as trainer for Argentine soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona in 1987. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Maradona and the World Cup trophy Diego Armando Maradona (El Diego) (born October 30, 1960) is a former Argentine football player. ...


He also tried out for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He made one play, pulled his groin and was out for the season. The coach explained: "When it came to football he couldn't catch a cold." The Toronto Argonauts are a Canadian Football League team based in Toronto, Ontario. ... The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional league located entirely in Canada that plays Canadian football. ...


In July 2000, European newspapers took delight in reporting that Ben Johnson had been outrun by a gang of Gypsies in Rome. The report said a ten-year-old girl distracted Johnson while a man grabbed his wallet, containing $7,300 in cash. Johnson apparently gave chase, but was unable to catch the man. The Roma people (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom), often referred to as Gypsies, are an ethnic group who live primarily in Southern and Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Latin America southern states of North America and the Middle East. ...


In December 2003 Korean promoters apparently made a pitch to recreate the 1988 Seoul men's 100 metre final, offering $2 million in prize money. There were reports that Ben Johnson and Desai Williams would have welcomed the opportunity, but it was rejected by Carl Lewis (pursuing an acting career in films like Atomic Twister and Alien Hunter) and Linford Christie. Desai Williams (born June 12, 1959) is a former sprinter from Canada who won an Olympic bronze medal in 4 x 100 metres relay in Los Angeles 1984. ...


Johnson / Gadhafi connection

In 1999 Johnson made headlines again when it was revealed that he had been hired by Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi to act as a soccer coach for his son, Al-Saadi Qadhafi, who aspired to join an Italian soccer club. Johnson's publicist in Canada predicted in The Globe and Mail that this would earn Johnson a Nobel Peace Prize. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi 1 — pronounced Gaddafi — (Arabic: معمر القذافي ) (born c. ... A coach is a person who teaches and directs another person via encouragement and advice. ... Al-Saadi Qadhafi (Arabic: السعدي القذافي) (born May 28, 1973, in Tripoli) is the son of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. ... The Globe and Mail is a large Canadian English language national newspaper based in Toronto. ... The Nobel Peace Prize Medal featuring a portrait of Alfred Nobel The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ...


Late 1990's and beyond

Ben Johnson spent much of the latter part of the 1990's living downstairs in the house he shared with his mother and sister. He spent his leisure time reading, watching movies and Roadrunner cartoons, and taking his mother to church. Johnson's spacious home in Newmarket, Ontario's Stonehaven neighborhood is one of the last remnants of his former wealth; he claims to have lost his Ferrari when he used it as collateral for a loan from an acquaintance in order to make a house payment. A roadrunner is: in zoology, A roadrunner is one of two species of bird in the genus Geococcyx of the cuckoo family Cuculidae, order Cuculiformes, native to North and Central America. ... Map showing Newmarkets location in York Region Newmarket is a town located approximately 45 km north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ...


In May of 2005, Johnson launched a clothing and sports supplement line, the Ben Johnson Collection. The motto for Johnson's clothing line is "Catch Me."


In a January 1, 2006 interview [1] Johnson claimed that he was sabotaged in Seoul, and also stated that 40% of people in the sports world are still taking drugs to improve their performance. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On March 2006, television spots featuring Johnson advertising an energy drink, "Cheetah Power Surge", started to receive some airtime. Some pundits questioned whether Johnson was an appropriate spokesperson for an all natural energy drink considering his steroids history.[2] A variety of energy drinks are available; the skinny bullet can shape is popular. ...


Quotes

"Don't tell me I cheated the system because that's [expletive]," he says. "I didn't get treated fairly by the system. They cast me out and they were jealous because I turned in the fastest time ever run by a human and it was impossible at the time."[3]


"We're not friends, ever been, never will. Carl Lewis could never beat me on the track or off."


"We need to show good faith for the young kids, the next generation coming up. Today, I tell the kids don't use drugs, because it's bad for you."


"I did something good in my life. My mom and dad saw me run faster than any human, and that's it. Better than a gold medal."


See also

The use of drugs in sport has been around since the turn of 20th century although there are many earlier reports of use going back to the Ancient Greeks use of stimulating potions. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ben Johnson (athlete) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6586 words)
Johnson had indeed inherited the earth: he had meanwhile become a massive commercial magnet and in Canada, the desertion of Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton for the Los Angeles Kings would ensure that he became the foremost national sporting treasure.
Johnson’s urine sample was analysed on Sunday, September 25 at the IOC-accredited laboratory in Seoul, under the direction of Dr. Jongsei Park.
Johnson's spacious home in Newmarket, Ontario's Stonehaven neighborhood is one of the last remnants of his former wealth; he claims to have lost his Ferrari when he used it as collateral for a loan from an acquaintance in order to make a house payment.
Johnson, Ben (446 words)
In 1976 Johnson immigrated to Canada and was attracted to competitive sprinting, initially in the 100 and 200 m.
Johnson's first sprint record was on the Canadian senior 4 x 100 m relay team against the US in 1982.
Johnson made the semifinal but tripped coming out of the blocks and was eliminated.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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