Ben Johnson – a World Class Sprinter
Ben Johnson is a former sprinter from Canada, whose performance peaked in the 1980’s, winning two Olympic bronze medals and an Olympic gold, which all 3, were taken away. He set several 100 metre world records at the 1987 World Championship and in the 1988 Summer Olympics, both for athletics, but was disqualified for doping, losing the Olympic title and all records. He was born in Jamaica and at the age of 15, immigrated to Canada. Ben met his coach Charlie Francis at the Scarborough Optimists track and field club. Charlie was also a Canadian 100 metre sprint champion himself and a member of the Canadian 1972 Summer Olympics Team. Charlie was also Canada’s national sprint coach for nine years. Ben Johnson had his first international success in the 1982 Commonwealth games winning two silver medals. He came second in both the 100 metre sprint and the 400 metre team relay. In the 1984 Summer Olympics, he reached the 100 metre finals grabbing himself a bronze medal. In 1985, after eight consecutive losses, Ben finally beat Carl Lewis. After his victorious win, Ben was unstoppable, winning many more important races. On September 24, 1988, Ben Johnson beat Carl Lewis in the 100m final at the Olympics, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. Johnson would later remark that he would have been even faster had he not raised his hand in the air just before he finished the race. However, Johnson's urine samples were found to contain stanozolol and was disqualified three days later. He later admitted having used steroids when he ran his 1987 world record. Ben and his coach Francis complained that they used doping in order to remain on an equal playing field with the other top athletes on drugs they had to compete against. Later, five of the finalists of the 100-meter race tested positive for banned drugs or were implicated in a drug scandal at some point in their careers. Later on, Charlie freely admits that his athletes were...
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