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Johnson Was Worried About Test, Francis’ Friend Says

Canadian Coach Charlie Francis, who claimed that sprinter Ben Johnson’s urine sample at the Seoul Olympics was spiked with a banned steroid, told an acquaintance in Seoul that Johnson had worried that he might test positive.

Lynda Huey, who was at Seoul working for NBC-TV and as a physical therapist for some American athletes, said Tuesday that Francis had bragged to her about Johnson’s preparations for a showdown against U.S. sprinter Carl Lewis.

Huey said she had known Francis since 1980 when he and sprinter Angella Taylor Issajenko stayed at her home in Los Angeles. Huey said she had seen Francis on a practice track at Seoul and he had greeted her as an old friend.

“Charlie came over to me and we started talking,” Huey said. “We were talking about how Ben might do. Charlie said, ‘Ben’s more afraid of failing the drug test than he is of Carl Lewis.’ He was bragging.”

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Huey said she is tired of hearing Francis, who has been in Toronto testifying at a Canadian inquiry into drug use in sport, say that Johnson was clean at the Olympics.

Francis testified that Johnson was not taking the steroid, stanozolol, before the Games and that a mysterious person might have slipped something into Johnson’s beverage in the drug-testing area before the sprinter gave his urine specimen.

Clean or not, Huey said, “Francis must have had some reason to think Ben may not pass the test.”


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