Not Carl Lewis, But...

needleAll Canadians of a certain age remember that sky high feeling in 1988 followed shortly by that disappointing plummet. I wrote about it last June. Ben Johnson went to Seoul and beat Carl Lewis, won the Gold medal in the 100m and set a new world record time of 9.79. The euphoria didn't last long as Big Ben tested positive for steroids and lost both the medal and the record.

Eighteen years later and an American sprint champion and record holder may suffer a similar fall from grace. Justin Gatlin, the world and Olympic 100m champion who shares the world record of 9.77 seconds with Asafa Powell, will appear before a United States Anti-Doping Agency hearing after failing a drugs test for testosterone. He'll get a lifetime ban if he's found guilty of doping.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have little doubt everyone in that 100m final in Seoul was cheating, but Ben got caught and he deserved what he got. Lewis somehow fooled the testers and managed to elude a similar fate. Lewis either got lucky or had smarter friends in higher places with lower morals.

It's not Carl Lewis, but another American 100m champion is going down, and there's a shallow, symbolic victory in there somewhere for Ben and each and every one of us. Sweet schadenfreude.


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