Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nineteen Years Ago

On September 24, 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson established a short-lived world record of 9.79 seconds in the 100-metre run, winning a gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics Games:

Johnson was subsequently stripped of the world record and his Olympic gold after testing positive for Stanozolol, a banned anabolic steroid.

The resulting scandal led to the establishment of the Dubin Commission of Inquiry Into the Use of Drugs and Banned Practices Intended to Increase Athletic Performance, a Canadian judicial inquiry into the Johnson affair and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by competitive athletes.

The Johnson affair represented the first occasion in which athletic doping attracted a truly global spotlight. Its legacy is the establishment of substance-abuse policies and monitoring in most professional sports.

As the ongoing questions in professional baseball demonstrate, however, we have certainly not reached the point where anyone could seriously contend that professional, or amateur, sports are entirely "clean."

CBC has a great archive of stories and media on Ben Johnson.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website:


No comments: