Ben Johnson's fall from grace at Seoul Olympics

Ben Johnson's fall from grace at Seoul Olympics
Ben Johnson signals victory in the 1988 Olympics 100m dash final ahead of Carl Lewis, right. He was later stripped of his gold. File photo: AFP

It was labelled the clash of the titans as Canada's Ben Johnson and American legend Carl Lewis competed in the 100m final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Johnson won the final in a world record time 9.79 seconds on September 24, 1988, at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, while Lewis took second place. However, Johnson's joy was shortlived as he was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for the steroid stanolozol. He was also handed a two-year ban as Lewis got the gold.

Johnson was nicknamed "Human Bullet" for having become the fastest man in the 1987 Rome World Championships after he had clocked a world record time of 9.84 seconds.

Johnson made a comeback in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics, only to test positive again a year later, this time for testosterone, incurring a life-time ban.

In July, 1997, the disgraced sprinter told the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion: "I know I am the fastest man in the world and no-one can deny it. My only mistake was to run too fast. Drugs cannot make you break a world record, they only improve you by 25 per cent."

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