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Ben Johnson: "I was framed"
Updated: 2006-01-03 10:02

Disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson said that he had been framed when he tested positive for anabolic steroids after winning the 1988 100 metres Olympic gold medal.

Disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, pictured in 1988, said that he had been framed when he tested positive for anabolic steroids after winning the 1988 100 metres Olympic gold medal.[AFP/IOPP/File/]
Johnson added that he was still considered the fastest man in the world when he ran 9.87 seconds to win the title - it was subsequently erased from the record books once he was found to have cheated.

However Johnson told the BBC that he hadn't taken the drugs.

"People can put things in your food and drinks to sabotage you, like they did to me in Seoul in 1988," said Johnson, who was banned for life when he again tested positive in March 1993 having already served a ban for his positive test in Seoul.

"I'm not a cheat - I do what I am supposed to do to win.

"I'm not saying go ahead and take it (drugs), but it's not a crime. It's just in some sports it's banned, some it isn't.

"Most of my people here in Canada and in the world still look at me as the fastest man in the world. They say I'm the fastest ever, dead or alive."

Johnson, who went on to become personal fitness trainer for Diego Maradona and Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi's son Al-Saadi, said that there were plenty of people willing to ruin other athletes careers and the number of sportspeople taking drugs was enormous.

"People are evil. They will do anything to get rid of someone from the sport," he said.

"I don't want to get myself in trouble, but I would say 40 percent of people in sports are using performance-enhancing drugs.

"You would be surprised to see the great players of the past who retired doing stuff."

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, hit out at Johnson's comments.

"I do not accept the figures that Johnson has said. I think that is totally ridiculous," he told the BBC.

"We have a very good record, particularly in this country, of running a high-quality anti-doping programme that ensures that cheats are caught and that athletes are aware of the medical downsides of taking banned substances."

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