Ben Johnson: I was better than Usain Bolt

A screen grab shows Ben Johnson's latest interview with the BBC, where he claimed to be a better...

A screen grab shows Ben Johnson's latest interview with the BBC, where he claimed to be a better sprinter than Olympic champion Usain Bolt.

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET

Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, is often referred to as the best there has ever been.

After all, no one on the planet has come close to approaching Bolt’s 100 metres world record, 9.58 seconds.

Still, at least one former Olympian disputes the 27-year-old Jamaican’s claim as the best in the history of the sport – and it’s the last person you’d expect.

“Well, (Bolt’s) an all-around sprinter, 100, 200 metres,” disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson told the BBC. “But, I think Ben Johnson is the best sprinter, 100 metre.”



The presenter, slightly taken aback, offered Johnson a chance to adjust his claim.

After all, Johnson's best time, which was later revealed to be aided by performance-enhancing drugs, was 9.79 seconds, significantly slower than Bolt's best.



“Oh yeah,” said Johnson, when asked if he could have beaten Bolt in his day. “They don’t have the power I have.”

The problem is, at least of portion of Johnson’s “power” came under the assistance of banned substances.

Johnson was stripped of his gold medal in the 100m at the 1988 Olympics after a positive test for steroids.

“From what I was told, everybody on that level was doing (PEDs),” Johnson said when asked to look back. “I said, ‘Why am I doing it clean if these guys are doing it?’”



Asked if he thinks Olympians are still using PEDs, Johnson said there will always be competitors looking to gain an edge.

“The drugs are more sophisticated now,” the now 51-year-old said. “Technology has changed over the last 25 years. People are always going to take the risk and take the chance.”

He said he’s only recently started speaking out more in an effort to clear his name, which he believes is unjustly dragged through the mud whenever banned substances are mentioned in track and field.

“When someone tests positive, they mention (me),” Johnson said. “There's got to be a way of forgiveness or something has to be changed. I'm not the only one in the race who tested positive or used banned substance so why I'm the one taking the blame for everybody else?"




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