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‘I wasn’t surprised’

London: Disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson wasn’t surprised by Marion Jones’ confession, and he’s now waiting for more athletes to admit they took performance-enhancing drugs.

Johnson ran a record 9.79 seconds to win the 100m gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, then tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and was stripped of his medal and time.

“I expected it,” Johnson said of Jones.

“But again I believe that everyone on the international level is using performance-enhancing drugs and, you know, it’s widespread and it’s going to continue on,” the Canadian said in a radio interview with Al-Jazeera.

Johnson said current athletes will have a harder time covering up their illegal activities.

“The tests will be more powerful, and those who are trying to mask this information, they’re going to have problems,” he said.

Jones, who gave back her three gold and two bronze medals, pleaded guilty last Friday in the U.S. District Court to lying to federal investigators when she denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Tough time

“I support her, and, you know, it’s going to be tough times,” Johnson said. “Her life has changed now.”

Johnson, who last year claimed rival Carl Lewis played a part in a conspiracy to sabotage him at the 1988 Games, said there is even more pressure on athletes to be faster now than when he was running.

“It’s much greater now than I was competing because there’s too much prize money out there,” said Johnson, who thinks he was unlucky to get caught when he did.

“I don’t regret it now I can’t compete any more because when I used to train I trained very hard,” he added. “But now my life is much better. My life changed for the better and I like myself right now.” — AP

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