Michael Johnson holds the 200m and 400m world records, and until recently had 5 Olympic Gold medals. That’s about to change, though, as he is voluntarily returning one of his Olympic Gold medals now that he knows it wasn’t not achieved legally.
In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 3 of the 4 runners on the 1600m relay were coached by Trevor Graham. In Graham’s latest trial, Antonio Pettigrew admitted to receiving performance enhancing drugs from Graham. This means that Michael Johnson was the only clean athlete on the relay team.
Johnson said he is “deeply disappointed in Antonio and in the sport of athletics. I now realize that there have been a significant number of athletes and coaches in this sport who have cheated and taken the short cut, and many of them knew who else was cheating.
“But now, I feel that I have been naive.
“I know the medal was not fairly won and that it is dirty, and so I have moved it from the location where I have always kept my medals because it doesn’t belong there. And it doesn’t belong to me.”
This has to be quite the blow for Johnson, and I’m sorry that he has to give up his medal. He is doing the right thing, though. I hope that it serves as a good example for the next generation of athletes and that they stay clean.