Ben Johnson, world record-holder in the 100-meter dash and disqualified from the 1988 Summer Olympics after testing positive for steroids, suffered minor injuries in a fight involving five men in the city's swank Yorkville District early today, police said.
Johnson had just left a nightclub and was driving his mother's car about 1:45 a.m. when he slowed to allow a group of pedestrians to cross the street. As they were crossing, a man banged on Johnson's car, police said.
Police said that when Johnson got out of the car to challenge the men, he was punched in the face. They said another man then jumped on the hood of the car and kicked in the windshield, causing $700 in damage.
Johnson chased a suspect and held him until police arrived, Sgt. David Donald said.
Hurdler Mark McKoy, who was on the scene along with sprinter Desai Williams, also chased a suspect, police said. The three other men ran away.
Johnson's positive test for a banned steroid cost him an Olympic gold medal at Seoul and prompted the ongoing federal inquiry into the use of banned drugs among amateur athletes.
At the inquiry today, Johnson's lawyer said the suspects knew it was Johnson in the car.
"I think what most members of the public don't realize is what this young man goes through on a daily basis--the verbal abuse and the physical harassment," Ed Futerman, Johnson's lawyer, said.
Johnson was treated in a hospital for a broken tooth and swollen lip and was released.