Athletics: Johnson claims Lewis was in on Olympic conspiracy

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The Independent Online

Ben Johnson has claimed that his rival Carl Lewis played a part in a conspiracy to sabotage his drug sample at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, costing him his 100 metres gold medal.

Johnson set a then world record of 9.79 seconds to win the 100m in Seoul, but was stripped of his gold medal and world record when he tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol. The Canadian-born sprinter has since admitted using banned drugs but has continued to insist his positive test at Seoul was the result of a conspiracy to discredit him.

"I have the information on how it was done and why it was done this way and who was behind it," Johnson said in an interview with an Australian newspaper. Asked whether Lewis was involved, Johnson said: "I won't say too much but... he's involved."

Johnson has claimed he drank beer with a former American football player in the drug test waiting room at Seoul, that the footballer was "a family friend" of Carl Lewis and that his beer had been tainted with stanozolol.

"I've been speaking to my lawyer and he wants to keep it as low [key] as possible until next June. We're trying to get some information, trying to get that guy [the footballer] to speak," Johnson said.

Lewis, in his book Inside Track, admitted knowing the footballer seen drinking with Johnson at Seoul but ridiculed any suggestion the player may have tampered with Johnson's beer. Lewis' manager, Joe Douglas, rejected Johnson's claims, saying: "Carl had absolutely nothing to do with Ben testing positive. There is no waythat Carl would sabotage or make any athletes turn positive. That's not his style."