Johnson claims `injustice'

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The Independent Online
ATHLETICS

Ben Johnson, the disgraced Jamaican-born Canadian sprinter, is reported as saying he had been banned from world athletics because of a "campaign by white people". Johnson, in Jamaica to work on a self-sponsored documentary on his life, was reported in Tuesday's Jamaica Observer as saying his life ban was planned by whites who were campaigning to crush black sports stars.

He cited the former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, who is near the end of a jail sentence for rape, as another who had suffered at the hands of whites. "My life ban stems from a white people's campaign," Johnson said.

"I was getting too powerful as a black athlete. Every time a black man tries to succeed in life they try to put him down. Black guys are making some good money and the white people don't want to see them succeed. Mike Tyson is another good example."

Johnson, 33, was banned for life in 1993 after testing positive for banned drugs for a second time. He first tested positive at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 after winning the 100 metres final.

"I was unjustly treated by the Canadian Athletic Federation and the IAAF. [Internatiional Amateur Athletic Federation]. They make the rules and break them as they go along. I plan to take legal action ... but I'm not ready yet," he said.

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