Ben Johnson: I would have beaten Usain Bolt

Ben Johnson
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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