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Tampering in the largest dopingzaak ever

Belgian ex-athlete gives affair-Ben Johnson new twist

Tampering in the largest dopingzaak ever

The most notorious dopingzaak ever, that of the Canadian cut out for sprinter Ben Johnson, gets a new twist. With a little thanks to Ria Van Landeghem.

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Belgian ex-athlete gives affair-Ben Johnson new twist

Tampering in the largest dopingzaak ever

The most notorious dopingzaak ever, that of the Canadian cut out for sprinter Ben Johnson, gets a new twist. With a little thanks to Ria Van Landeghem.

Athletics

Hans Jacobs

BrusselBen Johnson did not know what he saw when he recently, thirty years after the fact, his 31-page official dopingrapport under eyes got. Handwritten, sometimes illegible squiggles on official dopingverslagen of god-knows-whom because not gehandtekend; question marks manually at some passages have been taken; doorstreepte passages; tampering with codes. In short, things that do not belong in a report of an olympic antidopinglab. “If I buy this in Seoul had seen, I had my medal never returned,” says Johnson. “When you see the full evidence, can not see, how can someone you judge?’

The 100m of the Olympic Games of Seoul 1988 went down in history as the Dirtiest 100 meters of all time. Ben Johnson, a rival of spurtlegende Carl Lewis, to win. Correction: he is first across the finish line. Because a few days later it tested positive to anabolic steroids, he flees like a thief in the night and he’s his medal to lose.

Thirty years after the date it obtained the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star the dopingrapport that Johnson had never seen in the hands and confronted him with it. Had the newspaper contacted a Belgian athlete. Because at the same Olympics was marathon runner, Ria Van Landeghem turned away even before the Games started after they positive had been tested. Wrongly, as it turned out two years ago, after the opinion of renowned dopingexperts. Like Johnson, she was the official dopingrapport denied. And, like Johnson, was her report is full of inaccuracies.

‘If you see what has happened during that Play, you can still ask questions about how that dopingtests were taken

But there is more. Van Landeghem tested positive on oxandrolone. So many years later, after the dopingexperts her had vrijgepleit, had to the Belgian Olympic Committee to apologize. Johnson tested positive on stanozolol, the muscle enhancing steroids. But on one of the pages is stanozolol with the hand credited and is another dopingproduct strikethrough: oxandrolone. Coincidence? Johnson: “I think they’re allowed to ferment which dopingproduct I had taken. But I have never used oxandrolone taken.’

One of the experts, professor-emeritus Frans Delbeke, former head of the IOC lab in Ghent, said that the chromatograph, the machine to which the samples were analyzed, a “dirty” could be with oxandrolone and that this is the positive analysis of Van Landeghem can explain. Possible the same happened with Johnson. Who the product than doorstreepte in the report and replaced it with stanozolol? What test machine was used? Not to be found in the report.

Doctor Park
don’t know more

Over to the South Korean doctor Park, both at Johnson as Van Landeghem responsible for the dopingtests. The man, a seventy, meanwhile, says he is not able to remember on which product, Johnson was caught. He has no details to remember or explain why the product was out. Park took in the past that the International Olympic Committee in his lab with steroids contaminated teststalen and deposited ‘to see if the lab they could find’. How olympic athletes to ensure that their samples were not swapped with teststalen? No answer. Aside: Park ended up later in the cell because of fraud in the farmaindustrie.

The dopingrapport against Ben Johnson: doorstreepte passages, changed product names, barely legible scribbling. Hollandse Hoogte / Fotopersburo Edwin Janssen

These new findings mean that Johnson his medal of yesteryear back? No. For the Dubincommissie, established to judge about guilt or innocence, gave Johnson admitted that he was for many years the steroid was – as indeed each and every finalist on that 100m in Seoul 1988.

But what if the Canadian olympic team or Johnsons entourage the hash in the dopingrapport have been allowed to view? Just as in Van Landeghem, they got official documents never under the eyes. It was perhaps not until the Dubincommissie come.

About guilt and innocence, Johnson speaks Of Landeghem not: ‘But when you see what has happened during that Play, you can still ask questions about how that dopingtests were taken away.”

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