Tag Archives: Ben Johnson

Daily Trivia: 8/8/12

Question: What former Disney on Parade dancer landed the lead role in the miniseries North and South?

Last Question: What Olympic sprinter was stripped of his 1988 gold medal after testing positive for steroids?

Answer: Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson was born in Jamaica in 1961, and emigrated to Canada in 1976. He would go on to have a fierce rivalry with American sprinter, Carl Lewis.

At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Ben Johnson reached the 100 meter finals. He would win the bronze behind Carl Lewis and Sam Graddy. He also won the bronze as part of the 4×100 meter relay team.

In 1985, after eight consecutive losses, Johnson finally beat Carl Lewis. He would also go on to beat Lewis at the 1986 Goodwill Games. By the time of the 1987 World Championships, Johnson had won his four previous races with Lewis and had established himself as the best 100 m sprinter. At Rome, Johnson gained instant world fame and confirmed this status when he beat Lewis for the title, setting a new world record of 9.83 seconds as well, beating Calvin Smith’s former record by a full tenth of a second.

Then without naming names, Lewis said “There are a lot of people coming out of nowhere. I don’t think they are doing it without drugs.” He then called on the sport of track and field to start investigating the abuse of steroids.

On September 24 1988, Johnson beat Lewis in the 100m final at the Olympics n Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. However, three days later Johnson was disqualified for testing positive for steroids. Carl Lewis had won the silver, but was bumped up to gold after Johnson’s disqualification.

Ben Johnson was suspended until 1991. Then he attempted a comeback. He had failed to qualify for the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo but made the Canadian Olympic team again in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He did not do very well at the Olympics as he finished last in the semi-finals.

He found success again in 1993 as he won a 50 meter race and was just 0.04 seconds shy of the world record. However, there was a reason why he became successful once again – once again he was found guilty of doping – this time for excess testosterone. He was then banned for life by the IAAF.

In 1999, Johnson made headlines again when it was revealed that he had been hired by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to act as a football coach for his son, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, who wanted to join an Italian soccer/football team. Al-Saadi was able join an Italian team but was fired after one game when he — you guessed it– failed a drug test.