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Ben Johnson (sprinter) sorta redeemed?

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Old
02-02-2013, 02:07 AM
  #1
Soundwave
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Ben Johnson (sprinter) sorta redeemed?

This is really off topic, but I was watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the '88 Olympics and I know Ben Johnson still lives in the Toronto area.

It was a little shocking to learn that it sounds like his beer was actually spiked by the Americans and that's the real reason he tested positive. Anyone else see this?

I remember watching that race as a kid and what a big deal it was in Canada and all the fall out from it, but it sounds like the whole issue was even dirtier than I could've imagined.

Johnson still took stanazonol, a banned substance, but it sounds like Carl Lewis and Linford Christie were also on steroids as well.


Last edited by Soundwave: 02-02-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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02-02-2013, 04:00 AM
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they were all on something

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02-02-2013, 06:04 AM
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The truth is that Carl Lewis is a liar and a cheat. He played high an mighty about that race but he was on the new more expensive drug of choice at the time ... Human Growth Hormone. Considering what has gone on with Lance Armstrong US athletes have made this sort hypocrisy a tradition.

Ben had gotten injured in the season leading up to the olympics and his training and recovery was not going as well as he liked. His coach had him on a drug regimen that he believed would make it through the testing with a drug masking routine.

One version of what happened is that Ben committed the ultimate sin of the athlete. He thought he knew better than the coach and got mixed up with someone (who shall remain nameless) who prescribed more vigorous drugs unbeknownst to his coach. He got better in a hurry but failed his test.

Another version is that the Americans spiked his drink. The reasoning was that it could have been anyone. It a sense, Carl Lewis was not his main competition ... Michael Jordan was ... for the almighty dollar. That is tad farfetched but is one of the ideas out there.

At any rate. They were all guilty. Believe me on that one for sure.
Remember Flo Jo. It killed her at a young age. The biggest joke was the World Champ medal taken away from Angella Taylor Issajenko after her testimony at the Dubin Inquiry. It made Marita Koch of the GDR (East Germany) champion. That whole track program had an institutionalized drug program for their athletes. What a travesty.

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02-02-2013, 08:10 AM
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Even more OT but he was my elementary school principle's (Mr. Johnson) first cousin

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02-02-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sangreale View Post
The truth is that Carl Lewis is a liar and a cheat. He played high an mighty about that race but he was on the new more expensive drug of choice at the time ... Human Growth Hormone. Considering what has gone on with Lance Armstrong US athletes have made this sort hypocrisy a tradition.

Ben had gotten injured in the season leading up to the olympics and his training and recovery was not going as well as he liked. His coach had him on a drug regimen that he believed would make it through the testing with a drug masking routine.

One version of what happened is that Ben committed the ultimate sin of the athlete. He thought he knew better than the coach and got mixed up with someone (who shall remain nameless) who prescribed more vigorous drugs unbeknownst to his coach. He got better in a hurry but failed his test.

Another version is that the Americans spiked his drink. The reasoning was that it could have been anyone. It a sense, Carl Lewis was not his main competition ... Michael Jordan was ... for the almighty dollar. That is tad farfetched but is one of the ideas out there.

At any rate. They were all guilty. Believe me on that one for sure.
Remember Flo Jo. It killed her at a young age. The biggest joke was the World Champ medal taken away from Angella Taylor Issajenko after her testimony at the Dubin Inquiry. It made Marita Koch of the GDR (East Germany) champion. That whole track program had an institutionalized drug program for their athletes. What a travesty.
Anyone who knows their Medal significance knows the 100 is the most prized gold medal in the states for a host of reasons. Would i put it past the states or an American had something to do with the + test?

Well it would not surprise me one little bit.

SI for the longest time always acknowledged the fastest man on earth as the 100 winner.

Funny how that position changed the year Bailey won it.

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02-02-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by sangreale View Post
The truth is that Carl Lewis is a liar and a cheat. He played high an mighty about that race but he was on the new more expensive drug of choice at the time ... Human Growth Hormone. Considering what has gone on with Lance Armstrong US athletes have made this sort hypocrisy a tradition.

Ben had gotten injured in the season leading up to the olympics and his training and recovery was not going as well as he liked. His coach had him on a drug regimen that he believed would make it through the testing with a drug masking routine.

One version of what happened is that Ben committed the ultimate sin of the athlete. He thought he knew better than the coach and got mixed up with someone (who shall remain nameless) who prescribed more vigorous drugs unbeknownst to his coach. He got better in a hurry but failed his test.

Another version is that the Americans spiked his drink. The reasoning was that it could have been anyone. It a sense, Carl Lewis was not his main competition ... Michael Jordan was ... for the almighty dollar. That is tad farfetched but is one of the ideas out there.

At any rate. They were all guilty. Believe me on that one for sure.
Remember Flo Jo. It killed her at a young age. The biggest joke was the World Champ medal taken away from Angella Taylor Issajenko after her testimony at the Dubin Inquiry. It made Marita Koch of the GDR (East Germany) champion. That whole track program had an institutionalized drug program for their athletes. What a travesty.
Has an American ever been caught red handed?

Or have they only been caught or admitted years and years after the fact?

You know once they have made their $$$$$ and the PR machine has no more use for them.

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02-02-2013, 08:33 AM
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Ben Johnson made an interesting point in a recent interview with him after the Armstrong scandal. He said that the American public will eventually forgive him and give him a second chance because that what America has done with other disgraced celebrity and sports figures that have done wrong in the past (Bill Clinton, Pete Rose etc) But in Canada and based on his experience alone, you're crucified for your entire life, never given a second chance, and just put out to pasture and forgotten about.

Makes me sick how stupid this country can be at times. It's not like he killed someone or committed an equally heinous act. He failed a drug test under dubious circumstances....that's it.

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02-02-2013, 08:33 AM
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Only hockey players are not on banned or any performance enhancing substances

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02-02-2013, 08:39 AM
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Ben Johnson made an interesting point in a recent interview with him after the Armstrong scandal. He said that the American public will eventually forgive him and give him a second chance because that what America has dealt with other disgraced celebrity and sports figures that have done wrong in the past (Bill Clinton, Pete Rose etc) But in Canada and based on his experience alone, you're crucified for your entire life, never given a second chance, and just put out to pasture and forgotten about.

Makes me sick how stupid this country can be at times. It's not like he killed someone or committed an equally heinous act. He failed a drug test under dubious circumstances....that's it.
I was 16 years old back in 1988 and remember vividly when Ben won the Gold, the media said "Canadian Ben Johnson" and when he got caught it was "Jamaican born Ben Johnson."

A great book to read on this is "The Dirtiest Race in History" by Richard Moore:


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02-02-2013, 08:42 AM
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I always thought Ben was robbed because it was a level playing field in 88, all 8 were on droids in that final, and it sure seems his urine sample was spiked with all the info that has come out since.

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02-02-2013, 08:46 AM
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I always thought Ben was robbed because it was a level playing field in 88, all 8 were on droids in that final, and it sure seems his urine sample was spiked with all the info that has come out since.
Yep. Charlie Francis admitted Ben was juicing but he said it was NOT Winstrol (stanozolol) which was the substance that the IOC found in his urine sample.

I also remember that in the previous Olympics of 1984 in Los Angeles that word came out how quite a few prominent US athletes had positive samples but it was kept hush hush. I'm sure it's out there if you guys research it.

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02-02-2013, 09:01 AM
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Yep. Charlie Francis admitted Ben was juicing but he said it was NOT Winstrol (stanozolol) which was the substance that the IOC found in his urine sample.

I also remember that in the previous Olympics of 1984 in Los Angeles that word came out how quite a few prominent US athletes had positive samples but it was kept hush hush. I'm sure it's out there if you guys research it.
Lewis has tested positive, but the USTA covered it up. I would be willing to bet the farm Bolt is juicing too, it's not humanly possible to be doing what he is doing as much as his fans believe. I had a debate with a Jamaican buddy of mine, and he really didn't want to listen. Thinks he is god.

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02-02-2013, 09:07 AM
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Unless they're Curlers, I wouldn't think Olympic Athletes would be drinking beer in the days leading up to their event.

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02-02-2013, 09:45 AM
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I've always held that Carl Lewis has never gotten his. Worst part is he's so smug and arrogant about it. At least Ben wasn't a complete donkey as a person.

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02-02-2013, 09:49 AM
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I've always held that Carl Lewis has never gotten his. Worst part is he's so smug and arrogant about it. At least Ben wasn't a complete donkey as a person.
Pretty ironic choice of words

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02-02-2013, 09:57 AM
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Unless they're Curlers, I wouldn't think Olympic Athletes would be drinking beer in the days leading up to their event.
The story is that the beer was spiked right before he took the test after the race (as well as at various post-race events before the Olympics).

I don't really buy it, but I certainly buy it more than anyone saying that Lewis wasn't on HGH. I think it was in the doc that one of the USOC drug testers kept all the samples from the '80's and '90's that he tested to see what would happen in the future; its too bad he wouldn't re-test them.

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02-02-2013, 10:00 AM
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The story is that the beer was spiked right before he took the test after the race (as well as at various post-race events before the Olympics).

I don't really buy it, but I certainly buy it more than anyone saying that Lewis wasn't on HGH. I think it was in the doc that one of the USOC drug testers kept all the samples from the '80's and '90's that he tested to see what would happen in the future; its too bad he wouldn't re-test them.
I met Ben a few times and he wasn't the brightest but you'd think someone would have looked out for him at least from the time the race ended until he tested.

Any idea how much time passes between racing and testing?

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02-02-2013, 11:53 AM
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Unless they're Curlers, I wouldn't think Olympic Athletes would be drinking beer in the days leading up to their event.
Charlie told me a story once reminiscent of that. He walked into Ben's room unannounced and was talking to him when he noticed the chest of drawers behind him was producing smoke. He could smell the cigarette smoke in the room. lol

More significantly, after a race athletes are tested. The athletes are sent to an area to await until they produce a urine sample. That is not always easy to do. Beer is available to athletes to help them in this regard. I am not kidding. This is a fact.


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02-02-2013, 12:21 PM
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02-02-2013, 04:18 PM
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Its strange how some guys get caught and never recover public opinion but others like Linford Christie who was caught cheating and it just seem to go away, hes now coaching UK sprinters

I remember Allan Wells on Scottish TV many years ago admitting that he would put anything in his mouth that made him faster, my mother heard it and proclaimed it was amazing what that ginseng could do, oh for the innocent times

ps I would love Carl Lewis to get caught, such an arrogant person , thats the cleaness thing i can think of

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02-02-2013, 04:23 PM
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Only hockey players are not on banned or any performance enhancing substances
LOL

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02-02-2013, 05:07 PM
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A few Americans did get caught and the US Olympic association swept the tests under the table. Oh perfidy thy name is Uncle Sam.

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02-02-2013, 05:09 PM
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Allyb ... Allen Wells? Boy you remember your stuff!

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02-02-2013, 05:10 PM
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my soccer team always use to train with johnson at the track center, really good guy.

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02-02-2013, 05:19 PM
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The truth is that Carl Lewis is a liar and a cheat. He played high an mighty about that race but he was on the new more expensive drug of choice at the time ... Human Growth Hormone. Considering what has gone on with Lance Armstrong US athletes have made this sort hypocrisy a tradition.

Ben had gotten injured in the season leading up to the olympics and his training and recovery was not going as well as he liked. His coach had him on a drug regimen that he believed would make it through the testing with a drug masking routine.

One version of what happened is that Ben committed the ultimate sin of the athlete. He thought he knew better than the coach and got mixed up with someone (who shall remain nameless) who prescribed more vigorous drugs unbeknownst to his coach. He got better in a hurry but failed his test.

Another version is that the Americans spiked his drink. The reasoning was that it could have been anyone. It a sense, Carl Lewis was not his main competition ... Michael Jordan was ... for the almighty dollar. That is tad farfetched but is one of the ideas out there.

At any rate. They were all guilty. Believe me on that one for sure.
Remember Flo Jo. It killed her at a young age. The biggest joke was the World Champ medal taken away from Angella Taylor Issajenko after her testimony at the Dubin Inquiry. It made Marita Koch of the GDR (East Germany) champion. That whole track program had an institutionalized drug program for their athletes. What a travesty.
You should check out the ESPN 30 for 30 doc (9.79), Johnson says that one of Carl Lewis' entourage basically told him 2004 straight up that he was spiking Johnson's drinks not only in Seoul but for several events before that.

When ESPN reached out to this individual (forget his name) and asked whether or not he spiked Johnson's drinks he said:

"Maybe I did, maybe I didn't ..."

Which caused my jaw to drop as that's pretty much an admission.

Carl Lewis is a cheat and should not have his gold medal from that Olympics either IMO.

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