Michael Johnson Returns Tainted Gold Medal

FasterSkierJune 6, 2008

Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lee contrasts recent Nordic doping scandals with the remarkable action of US Track and Field star Michael Johnson. Johnson returned an Olympic relay gold medal because one of his teammates at the time has recently admitted to doping.

How is this relevant to cross-country skiing? First of all it is rare to see athletes take the high road on issues of doping. We are so used to the accused vehemently denying any guilt – even in the face of significant evidence. Johnson is making a significant and meaningful stand against doping – his action communicates an intolerance to cheating to both athletes and fans. Doping rears its ugly head in our sport on a regular basis and there have been few, if any, examples of athletes owning up to their behavior and taking responsibility for their actions.

Of course Johnson has a number of other medals, and he was not admitting any guilt of his own – both factors that make his action a bit easier.

Read Lee's column here.


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