Moments after his record-setting run in the 100-metre final of the 1988 Olympics seized a global spotlight, sprinter Ben Johnson grabbed an oversized Canadian flag to wave before the world.
The gold was his.
And he was ours.
Canada — 25 years ago next week — was the world’s best in the glamour event of the Seoul Summer Games.
Just two days later, of course, Johnson sparked the first-ever global doping scandal after testing positive for steroids, leaving him stripped of his gold medal and world-record finish (9.79 seconds) while facing the scorn of a humiliated nation.
“Why, Ben, why?” was The Toronto Sun’s front-page headline as the scandal unfolded.
With next week marking a quarter-century since that dark moment, it’s time again to confront potentially uncomfortable questions relating to Johnson, doping in general and what it means to be Canadian: