September 4, 2013, 5:05 pm
In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Ben Johnson took home two gold medals and set the world record in the 100 meters. But two days later, he was stripped of his two gold medals after it was determined that he had tested positive for steroids. Since that day, Johnson has spent his whole life trying to repair his image following that day. And currently he is working as part of the PureSport movement which is designed to encourage competition free of drugs and corruption. He joined guest host Bernard Bokenyi Wednesday on Flight 750 to talk about his fall from grace at the Olympics and his work with PureSport.
“With my involvement in sports at the time, my competitors at that level were using performance enhancing drugs. And for me to compete at that level, I had to kind of level the playing field so to speak.”
Johnson also said that he had no idea what he was getting himself into when he first began training for Olympic competition. But the culture back in the 80s was one in which performance enhancing drugs ran rampant.
“As a young kid, I didn’t know that drugs in sports existed at all. I thought that people I saw on TV were performing on their own ability and their own hard training. But I learned later that coaches are involved. And when kids test positive now, the only people that are blamed are the athletes. What about the coaches or the staffs that are behind it because they want to make lots of money?”
Johnson also said that it is very important for families to remain involved in the lives of athletes, because they possess the power to get athletes to question why they are harming their bodies.
“I believe that if I did speak with my mother about it, this would have never happened. I wouldn’t have said yes to my coach at the time. I think we could really get to the bottom of this if parents were more involved.”
Take a listen to the great interview and be sure to check out the work that Johnson and other athletes are doing with PureSport.