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SBD Global/December 12, 2013/Events and Attractions

Former Olympic Sprinter Michael Johnson Says Athletics WIll Never Be Drug Free

Four-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medal sprinter Michael Johnson told a Doha GOALS Forum that athletics will never be drug free and without the Olympics, the sport would be nonexistent. Johnson: "You are never gong to have a situation where no one cheats. Athletics is a microcosm of real life and in real life you will always have people who cheat. It's unrealistic to expect athletics to be a drug free sport." Johnson praised the role of sprinter Usain Bolt in raising the level of interest in the sport, and said the sport's governing body should work with the Jamaican to help promote athletics. Johnson: "He is athletics, but the IAAF doesn't work with him to promote the sport. To be honest, if it weren't for the Olympics, athletics would be dead. Off the face of the earth." Johnson and Olympic athlete Kelly Holmes believe a radical rethink in the promotion of the sport is key. Holmes: "We have to change how we project athletics -- at the moment it's the same all the time. It needs glamour and theater around it. Once the Olympic Games are over and it is out of the public eye, athletics doesn't resonate with young people" (Doha GOALS).
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