Sep 24, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT
Ben Johnson lined up at the Seoul Olympic Stadium again Tuesday. This time, he ran nowhere near as fast as in the 1988 Olympics.
On Sept. 24, 1988, the Canadian won the Olympic 100-meter final in a then-world record 9.79 seconds. He was stripped of that gold medal three days later, having tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol.
“It feels good to be back,” Johnson, promoting an anti-doping campaign, told Agence France-Presse as he stepped out onto the Seoul track.
“This is where history was made. Some might call it bad history, but I don’t see it that way.”
On Tuesday, at precisely 1:30 pm, Johnson stood at the starting point on Lane 6 — his lane in the final — and strolled down the track he burned up in 1988.
As he walked, two volunteers unrolled in his path a 100-meter long petition with 3,700 signatures the campaign has collected over the past month.
At the finish line, he recreated the famous finger-raised pose he struck at the moment of victory 25 years ago.
“I was nailed on a cross, and 25 years later I’m still being punished,” Johnson told AFP. “Rapists and murderers get sent to prison, but even they get out eventually.
“I know what I did was wrong. Rules are rules. But the rules should be the same for all. But politics always plays in sports.”
Johnson has been on a worldwide media tour promoting anti-doping in recent weeks.
Most recently, Johnson expressed sympathy for the doping-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
“We are all human beings,” Johnson told insidethegames. “We all make mistakes in life. I feel for him.
“Hopefully he will overcome the situation — but it’s going to be tough for quite a while. I should know.
“It’s a situation you have to live with all the time. I wish him the best.”
The 1988 100-meter final has become known as one of the dirtiest races in history. The first three men to cross the finish line — Johnson, Lewis and Britain’s Linford Christie – all failed drug tests in 1988, but only Johnson’s result was wiped out.
Reuters published a story Monday highlighting the man who crossed fourth, American Calvin Smith, who has said, “I should have been the gold medalist.”
Here’s AFP video with footage of Johnson on the Seoul track on Tuesday.
How did Lewis spend the 25-year anniversary?
Oct 25, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
Machida breaks record for winning margin; U.S. matches its longest drought.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT
Two Russians lead the way.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
Miller, 37, had documented back problems in the offseason.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT
Olympic slalom champion and World Cup overall champion have matching times.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Machida can become first repeat Skate America men’s winner since 2001.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
Austrian eyes history, while Ted Ligety, Bode Miller look to fill resume holes.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:42 AM EDT
New rule allows women to compete in four-man bobsled this year.
Oct 23, 2014, 8:11 PM EDT
Sochi disappointment gave Davis a deeper appreciation for past success going into post-Olympic season.
Oct 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT
Felix came back from torn hamstring to post the fastest 200m time since the London Olympics.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
Several U.S. Olympians dot the field in Grand Prix series opener.
Oct 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
Pistorius is banned from competing during his sentence, even if not in jail, by Paralympic and South African Olympic Committees.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT
Expect to see more of Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn than last year, but neither appears a threat to the world’s best overall skier.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT
Kosovo, which gained independence from Serbia in 2008, could field an Olympic delegation for the first time in 2016.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT
Gardner’s Olympic medals were sold last year.
Oct 22, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT
Olympic ski slopestyle champion also needed rabies shots after dog bite.
Oct 22, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
Kosovo has never competed at the Olympics as an independent nation.
Oct 22, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
Vincenzo Nibali, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador have mixed opinions.
Oct 22, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT
Team will make its season debut with Skate America this weekend.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT
Zubkov, 40, had already said he wouldn’t compete this season.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
Tarmoh was part of the infamous tie at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
- Japan’s Machida routs U.S. men at Skate America; ice dancers make history 0
- Mikaela Shiffrin wins her first World Cup giant slalom in Soelden tie (video) 0
- Alpine skiing men’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski preview Skate America 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ agent seeks prison meeting to discuss running future 1
- Alpine skiing women’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Terry Gannon named NBC’s lead figure skating announcers 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)