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?
Sep 30, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
The 22-time Olympic medalist was pulled over in Maryland overnight.
Sep 30, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT
U.S.’ previous biggest blowout was 70 points over Senegal.
Sep 30, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
Competition for the U.S. begins Saturday.
Sep 30, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT
Summer and Winter Olympian previously said she was all but retired.
Sep 30, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT
Vancouver downhill champion expected to ski in Austria on Wednesday.
Sep 30, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Canadian joins long list of skaters sitting out this season.
Sep 30, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT
Hungarian matched her Monday output on Tuesday but lacked top competition.
Sep 30, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
Olympic slalom champion also gave an update on her 2014-15 plans.
Sep 29, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT
Dennis Kimetto’s record-smashing win in Berlin brings the barrier into closer view.
Sep 29, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT
They call her the “Iron Lady” of swimming.
Sep 29, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
ISU asks for synchronized skating and a new speed skating event for 2018.
Sep 29, 2014, 10:27 AM EDT
Plushenko received criticism for withdrawing at Sochi Olympics.
Sep 28, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
Serbia led 57-56 in the third quarter.
Sep 28, 2014, 5:40 AM EDT
Third Kenyan in four years to break the record in Berlin.
Sep 28, 2014, 4:31 AM EDT
All four rounds in the 100s.
Sep 28, 2014, 4:30 AM EDT
World champion finishes behind Japanese rival.
Sep 27, 2014, 4:17 PM EDT
Griner played her first game in a Team USA uniform in three years.
Sep 27, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT
U.S. champion shaky in season debut.
Sep 26, 2014, 4:39 PM EDT
First senior international victory for the U.S. Olympian.
Sep 26, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT
Walsh/Ross go into 2015 with no match experience against upstart Brazilian threat.
- Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charges 2
- Lauryn Williams ‘playing with the idea’ of bobsled this season 0
- Lindsey Vonn set for first skiing in 10 months, named 2016 Youth Olympics ambassador 0
- Talk of a sub-two-hour marathon 2
- Dennis Kimetto breaks world record at Berlin Marathon (video) 0
- IOC adds anti-discrimination clause to Olympic host city contract 0
- Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky lead Golden Goggles nominees 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)