Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson: I would have beaten Usain Bolt

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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

Chris Froome adds world champs medal to historic season

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Chris Froome added his first individual world championships medal to the most successful year of his incredible career.

The four-time Tour de France winner took bronze behind Dutchman Tom Dumoulin and Slovenian Primoz Roglic in the time trial in rainy Bergen, Norway, on Wednesday.

Dumoulin, the Olympic time trial silver medalist and Giro d’Italia winner, covered the 19-mile course in 44 minutes, 41 seconds. Roglic, a former ski jumper, was 57.79 seconds slower.

Froome, who owns two Olympic time trial bronze medals, was 1:21.25 behind. The top American was Tejay van Garderen in 26th.

Full results are here.

Froome, though possibly tired from sweeping the Tour de France and Vuelta a España this summer, benefited from the layout, which featured a two-mile climb to the finish.

He improved from seventh going into the final climb to make the podium by 7.27 seconds.

That summit all but dashed the hopes of German Tony Martin going into the race. Martin won his record-tying fourth world time trial title last year but is not a great climber. He finished ninth.

In Bergen, Froome was bidding to become the second cyclist to win the Tour de France and the world time trial title in the same year. Spaniard Miguel Indurain achieved the feat in 1995, the last of his five straight years winning the Tour.

The time trial debuted at worlds in 1994.

He also hoped to join Eddy Merckx (1974) and Stephen Roche (1987) as the only men to win multiple Grand Tours and a world title (either road race or time trial) in the same year.

The world championships continue Friday with junior and U23 road races. The next elite event is the women’s road race on Saturday. The weeklong championships conclude with the men’s road race Sunday.

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MORE: World Road Cycling Championships broadcast schedule

Michael Phelps still has ‘no desire’ to come back

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Michael Phelps says he has “no desire” to return to competitive swimming, but he is eager to stay involved with the sport and cheer on those who follow in his enormous wake.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press while promoting a healthy pet food campaign, Phelps said he is excited about the birth of his second child and numerous opportunities away from the pool.

It was around this time four years ago when Phelps got serious about ending his first retirement, but he now seems content with his decision to step away again after the Rio Olympics.

His wife, Nicole, is about four months pregnant. The couple already has a 16-month-old son, Boomer.

“I’ve got no desire, no desire to come back,” the 32-year-old Phelps said flatly.

Phelps has attended a handful of swimming meets since the Rio Games, where the winningest athlete in Olympic history added to his already massive career haul by claiming five gold medals plus a silver. A few months ago, he conceded to the AP that he was eager to see how he would feel about a possible comeback after this year’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Turns out, it had no impact.

Phelps said watching others compete “truly didn’t kick anything off or spike any more interest in coming out of retirement again.”

He is eager to follow the development of his heir apparent, Caeleb Dressel, who emerged as the sport’s newest star by winning seven gold medals at Budapest. The 21-year-old Floridian joined Phelps and Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to accomplish that feat at a major international meet.

“I’m happy Caeleb decided to go off this year instead of last year,” Phelps joked. “I’m kind of happy to see him swimming so well when I’m not there.”

With Dressel and Katie Ledecky now leading the American team, the U.S. is expected to remain the world’s dominant swimming country heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Even without Phelps.

“It’s time to kind of move on,” he said, “and watch other people come into their own.”

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