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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Johnson: I'm still the best
Ben Johnson
Johnson took Olympic gold 15 years ago
Ben Johnson has claimed he is the world's greatest-ever sprinter despite having lost his 1988 100m Olympic title after failing a drugs test.

Johnson won 100m gold in Seoul in 9.79 seconds but was stripped of his medal for taking steroids.

But on the 15th anniversary of the race, the Canadian said he was better than any of the subsequent Olympic champions.

"Regardless of what I did, I'm still the best sprinter of all time," Johnson told The Times newspaper.

"Most people loved the entertainment and know the game.

"The sport will never be clean. It's going to be going on until the end of time."

Johnson also insists he could have run even faster in Seoul if he had not "shut down at 94 metres".

Johnson's time was not beaten until American Tim Montgomery ran 9.78secs in Paris last year, beating Maurice Greene's mark of 9.79secs set in 1999.

And Johnson claims that on his Seoul form he would have finished in front of all the following Olympic champions - Britain's Linford Christie in 1992, fellow Canadian Donavan Bailey in 1996 and American Greene in 2000 as well as Montgomery.

Johnson said that Montgomery's world record was on the allowable windspeed limit of two metres per second compared to his following wind in Seoul of 1.1 metres per second.

And he is adamant that today's sprinters run on faster tracks than were available in the 1980s.

He said the only man who could have beaten him was 1964 Olympic champion Bob Hayes, who competed when the sport was still strictly amateur.




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