Canadian sprinter still chasing his 1988 Olympic gold medal despite failing doping test

Canadian Olympic Committee

Canadian sprinter still chasing his 1988 Olympic gold medal despite failing doping test

Abigael Wafula 11:41 - 26.04.2024

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson still wants his 1988 Seoul Olympics 100m gold medal back and his reputation restored despite failing a doping test and admitting to having used a prohibited substance.

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is known to be one of the most controversial sprinters following his win in the men’s 100m final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and later being stripped off the title due to a failed doping test.

As per the Globe and Mail Center, in her new book World’s Fastest Man: The Incredible Life of Ben Johnson, author Mary Ormsby raises serious questions about the science, procedures, and prejudices that led to Johnson’s disqualification.

Ormsby explains that Johnson is still on a journey of clearing his name and restoring his reputation and since 2019, he has been working with an experienced sports lawyer to research his legal options which include possibly filing a claim against World Athletics.

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“Over the years, when I reflect on what happened in Seoul, sometimes I use it as a great positive. All the sacrifice I made since I was 14 years old and all the hard work I put in over that 12-year span, the pain, the suffering, the anxiety, and the depression, it was all for my mother, to give her something back in this world. And my father, (who) saw his youngest son become the best athlete to ever run the 100 metres,” he said.

Johnson’s mother, Gloria Johnson, has always been a source of motivation for the retired sprinter and she often encouraged him that he would get his gold medal back.

His bitterness with the sports officials in Canada can always be seen and he still asks the question of why they never came through for him in Seoul.

“All those people who screw me over the years, go on to have better paycheques, better job opportunities, and make a name for themselves. None of the American athletes ever tested positive. It’s a no-no, it can’t happen,” he said.

Johnson also does not have any remorse after testing positive, arguing that five other runners in that 100m final in Seoul were later linked to doping infractions. “If that is my destiny, I’d do it again. I wasn’t the only one out there using steroids,” Johnson said.

Johnson is planning to make Jamaica his home base and visit Toronto periodically as he admitted that he is not as close as he would like to be with family members since many of his relationships are strained or broken