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?
Headed to the United Nations later today to give a speech. Stay tuned.—
Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) September 24, 2013
Aug 20, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
U.S. star first suffered back spasms at Tuesday practice.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
Defending champion feels no added pressure despite seeing her face all around Pittsburgh.
Aug 20, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Would Davis excel in softball if she tried it?
Aug 20, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
Can Allyson Felix finally topple Tori Bowie?
Aug 20, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
First medals awarded on an Olympic stage in rugby since 1924.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT
Lily Zhang scored a breakthrough for U.S. table tennis.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT
Gold medalists Hannah Moore and Clara Smiddy will go from Nanjing to Ann Arbor.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
U.S. vs. Australia in sprint head to head; outlook for Phelps and Lochte.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Will Katie Ledecky be tested?
Aug 20, 2014, 5:34 AM EDT
Phelps’ debut in Australia pushed back to Friday.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:08 AM EDT
Video of Franklin being gingerly helped away from the pool.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
Phelps also reflects on his first Olympics, also in Australia.
Aug 19, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
More medals could be in Indy native’s future in Nanjing.
Aug 19, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
Former Giant must shoot for a specific distance in the triple jump.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Summer and Winter Olympian said she has taken no breaks more than two days in the last two years.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT
Canadian makes Olympic history with first career hole-in-one.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT
Athletes gaining social media friends via interesting device in Nanjing.
Aug 18, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Watch what happens when the world’s best teenage athletes interview themselves.
Aug 18, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
The Jamaican sprinter finishes in 10.06 on Copcabana beach, nearly half a second off his world-record pace.
Aug 17, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Team USA won its first three medals at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing Sunday.
- Simone Biles a tall favorite at P&G Championships; women’s preview 0
- Jennie Finch, Lisa Fernandez weigh in on Mo’ne Davis 0
- Pan Pacific Championships men’s events preview 0
- Pan Pacific Championships women’s events preview 0
- Missy Franklin (back) in doubt for Pan Pacific Championships 0
- Golf debuts at Youth Olympics with hole-in-one (video) 0
- Youth Olympics begin with festive Opening Ceremony in Nanjing (photos) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (56)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (38)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)