Sep 24, 2013, 11:11 AM EST
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?
Dec 22, 2014, 2:38 PM EST
Finland’s Samu Torsti slid while wrapped in a banner for 25 seconds.
Dec 22, 2014, 12:19 PM EST
A sport-by-sport breakdown of what we learned in Sochi and beyond.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:07 AM EST
Austrian becomes oldest woman to win a World Cup race.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:37 AM EST
The two-man battle for giant slalom supremacy continues.
Dec 20, 2014, 7:37 PM EST
Humphries, Meyers Taylor finished 15th, 16th out of 17 sleds.
Dec 20, 2014, 5:27 PM EST
Rio’s main Olympic Park will be half the size of London’s Olympic Park.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:40 AM EST
Background on the woman whose record Vonn is close to breaking.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:27 PM EST
Rome 2024 bid could include events in Vatican City.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:23 PM EST
Marathon route over Golden Gate Bridge.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:41 PM EST
Phelps was supported by retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:11 AM EST
Nyman has won three World Cup races, all in Italy.
Dec 18, 2014, 4:39 PM EST
“He was incredible at that, almost befriending you, and then he’d slip the knife in your back.”
Dec 18, 2014, 3:33 PM EST
Colbert had a memorable time at the 2010 Olympic speed skating oval and in an interview with Bob Costas in Vancouver.
Dec 18, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Olympic champion tore an ankle ligament in November.
Dec 18, 2014, 11:14 AM EST
Vonn entered five races in Vancouver 2010. She may never do that again at a global championship.
Dec 17, 2014, 5:38 PM EST
Decision details Gay’s acquisition and use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Dec 17, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
Fukushima’s previous governor pitched the area to be part of Tokyo 2020, too.
Dec 17, 2014, 3:29 PM EST
A look at host nation medal contenders for Rio 2016.
Dec 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EST
“It is breach of privacy with malicious target to soil my name.”
Dec 17, 2014, 1:51 PM EST
Japanese teen says he wasn’t satisfied winning silver in Sochi.
- Olympic Year in Review: Winter Sports 0
- Lindsey Vonn OK after fall in Val d’Isere super-G (video) 0
- Lindsey Vonn wins cow in Val d’Isere, one victory from record 0
- Michael Phelps gets probation after guilty plea in DUI case 7
- Stephen Colbert and the Olympics 0
- U.S. will bid for 2024 Olympics, no city chosen yet 6
- Adrian Peterson won’t try for Olympics, but other RBs might 2
- 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)