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
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.
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/]
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
"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
Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, hit out at
"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