Frederick Carlton Lewis is a former sprinter and an Olympic legend. He won nine gold medals, one silver medal, and ten world Championship medals (eight of them gold). In a career spanning over two decades, Carl has managed to run faster than everyone, jump higher than everyone, and set astonishing new world records.
But there’s one thing Carl can’t outrun. And that’s controversy. Specifically, stimulant-related controversies.
Tragically, years after Lewis ran tracks like a blazing meteor, his past came back to haunt him.
In 1988, Carl Lewis competed in the Seoul Olympic games, where he participated in the dirtiest race in history. A race in which many of its participants were doped up on illegal substances.
Canadian track runner, Ben Johnson, won first place, only to be stripped of his medal after he tested positive for steroid use. Lewis came in second, so Johnson’s disqualification made him the proud new gold-winning champion.
God? Or stimulants? A bit of both. Years later, word came out that Lewis, like Johnson, was on drugs during Seoul’s Olympic games. Unbelievably, the former sprinter responded with, “It’s ridiculous. Who cares?”
Who cares? The public cares. The most astonishing part about this story is that the US Olympic Committee knew about this. Lewis had failed three tests in the 1988 Olympic trials, yet they kept it under wraps so he could compete.