Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson: I would have beaten Usain Bolt


Doping-stained retired Canadian Olympian Ben Johnson said he’s the best sprinter of all time, greater than world record holder Usain Bolt.

Johnson crossed the finish line first in the 100 meters at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but was later stripped after testing positive for steroids. He’s been doing media recently promoting an anti-doping campaign.

In a video published Friday, a BBC reporter asked Johnson if Bolt was the greatest of all time.

“Well, he’s an all-around sprinter, 100, 200 meters,” Johnson, now 51, told the BBC. “But, I think Ben Johnson is the best sprinter, 100 meter.”

The BBC reporter followed up, asking, “You could have beaten Usain Bolt, in your day, if he was racing then?”

“Oh yeah,” Johnson said. “They don’t have the power I have.”

Then, the BBC reporter finished the line of questioning with the perfect response.

“Well if everyone had been clean, it would have been quite a race to watch,” he said.

This wasn’t the first time Johnson spoke with such confidence on the subject. Take this from Telegraph story published Friday:

In Australia last year he was adamant he was the “greatest sprinter who ever lived”, while announcing that he would have lowered Bolt’s 100m world record of 9.58 sec to 9.30. Does he stand by this? “Knowing what I do about what is going on out there, that is my answer,” he replies. “Technology has changed over the past 25 years.”

Johnson will take his anti-doping campaign back to Seoul on Sept. 24, the 25-year anniversary of his 100-meter final at the 1988 Olympics.

Video: Usain Bolt recovers to win 100 meters over Gatlin in Zurich

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

“I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again,” Shiffrin said in a media conference after being told she won with the biggest margin of victory in the history of women’s slalom since 1968: 3.07 seconds. “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

But, Shiffrin added that she already has her mind set on tomorrow, where she races slalom again, on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The complete of the Olympic sports schedule is here.

“I just as quickly have to go back and settle in,” she said. “Tomorrow is a new race. I have to find a different motivation and try to take the same mentality and keep fighting.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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