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Independent Ruling on Johnson Eligibility Urged

From Associated Press

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson’s status remained in limbo Tuesday after the release of a report by the Dubin inquiry into drugs in sport.

Chief Justice Charles Dubin said sports federations and Olympic organizations should determine the eligibility of Johnson, who was barred from competition after testing positive for steroids in the 1988 Olympics.

Johnson’s suspension from Canadian teams should be maintained, Dubin said, but added that Johnson should be able to appeal his case to an independent arbitrator.

The 638-page report criticized the Olympic movement and Athletics Canada--until recently known as the Canadian Track and Field Association--for the widespread use of steroids and other banned performance-enhancing drugs in international sports.

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The report said the reality of international competition is a far cry from the ideals of the Olympics.

“The reality has not until recently been widely known, but the conspiracy of silence has now been broken and the truth revealed,” the report said.

“Truth is not always pleasant.”

It also said circumstances such as the influence of Johnson’s coach and physician and Johnson’s longtime use of banned substances should be considered.

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