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1988: Johnson stripped of Olympic gold

VIDEO : Seoul Olympics test on anabolic steroids

Sprinter Ben Johnson has been sent home from the Seoul Olympic Games in disgrace.

The Canadian has also been stripped of his 100m gold medal after testing positive for drugs.

Johnson has just arrived home in Toronto and has said he will appeal against the International Olympics Committee's verdict.

But the IOC has already said the athlete's intended defence - that a herbal drink he consumed before the race had been spiked - will not be accepted.

Samples of Johnson's urine were tested for drugs immediately after the 100m final three days ago which he won in a world record time of 9.79 seconds.

And Olympic officials confirmed last night that traces of the anabolic steroid, Stanozol, had been detected.

The sprinter was woken in the early hours of the morning to be told the IOC had decided to send him home.


"He is not guilty"

Clare Rodney, Johnson's sister

Canada's Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said it was the correct decision, but a tragedy for Johnson and a great sadness for all Canadians.

But the athlete's sister, Clare Rodney, told reporters she was convinced the drug testers had made a mistake.

"I can really tell anybody from the depths of my heart that he is not guilty," she said.

The Canadian media has labelled Johnson a cheat, but there was also sympathy for the man who said he valued a gold medal over a world record because no one could take it away from him.

Britain's Linford Christie - who was awarded the silver medal after Johnson's disqualification - said he felt sorry for someone who had been a "great ambassador" for the sport.

"I'm also sad for athletics because this has been a bad day for us," he said.

In Context
Ben Johnson was banned from competing for two years and stripped of all the other world records and medals he held.

He began racing again in January 1991, but never regained the form that had made him the fastest man in the world.

In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics he did not even make the final of the 100m.

In January 1993 he tested positive again for steroids at an indoor meeting in Montreal, Canada.

A unanimous decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations banned him from competition for life.


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