Ben Johnson steroid scandal, 25 years later | Sports | CBC Sports

Ben Johnson steroid scandal, 25 years later

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 | 08:00 AM

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Canada's Ben Johnson, left, signals victory as he wins the men's 100-metres at the 1988 Seoul Olympics on Sept. 24, 1988. (Ron Kuntz/Getty Images) Canada's Ben Johnson, left, signals victory as he wins the men's 100-metres at the 1988 Seoul Olympics on Sept. 24, 1988. (Ron Kuntz/Getty Images)

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CBC Rewind turns back the clock to recount a defining moment in Canadian sport: the Ben Johnson steroid scandal, 25 years after the fact.

On Sept. 24, 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won the men's 100-metres at the Seoul Olympics in a blistering 9.79 seconds, smashing the world record and humbling the likes of American arch-rival Carl Lewis and famed British contender Linford Christie in the process.

But in a shocking twist, the newly crowned Olympic and world champion tested positive for stanozolol, a banned steroid, and, three days later, was stripped of the gold medal and record.

A bewildered and disgraced Johnson denied willingly using steroids, claiming that his customary pre-race herbal concoction had been spiked.

He was subseqently banned from competition, never to regain the form that made him the world's fastest man, and summoned to testify in an unprecedented government inquiry into drug use in Canadian sport.

The race, the revelation and its sobering aftermath triggered a chain of events that, ultimately, ushered in an era of sweeping change in athletics.

So listen in as CBC Rewind recounts a defining moment in Canadian sport: the Ben Johnson steroid scandal, 25 years after the fact.

Follow Rob Sinclair on Twitter @SinclairCBC

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