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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Johnson's Sprint Double Highlights Championship


GOTEBORG, Sweden -- The name Johnson could again dominate the headlines from a major athletics championship over the next two weeks -- but this time for all the right reasons.

Seven years after his Canadian namesake Ben Johnson gained worldwide notoriety for testing positive for steroids and being stripped of the 100 -meters gold medal at the Seoul Olympics, American Michael Johnson could emerge with three gold medals from the fifth world track and field championships which get underway with the opening ceremonies Friday.

Competition begins Saturday, with finals coming on the first day in the women's marathon and shot put.

The first men's golds will be awarded Sunday in the hammer, the 20-kilometer walk and the 100 meters.

Johnson is going for a unique double in the 200 and 400 -- and is also certain to run the anchor leg in the American 4x400 relay team, in which he should pick up his third gold.

World 100-meter champion Linford Christie will be after Johnson in the 200.

Christie, 35, is himself going for a sprint double in the 100 and 200. One man Christie doesn't have to watch for is American Carl Lewis.

Lewis, if he declares himself fit, is competing only in the long jump, which does not start until next Friday. Lewis is expected to go to G?teborg and make his final decision closer to the event.

Jamaica's Merlene Ottey, 35, is likely to emerge from the meet next week with the biggest overall medal haul in the 12-year history of the competition.

Ottey has already won 10 medals, a record she shares with Lewis. Ottey is favored for at least a bronze in the 100 meters, 200 meters and relay.


The IAAF congress made an unexpected move Thursday, when it decided to reject a proposal to cut drug suspensions from four years to two.

It was widely thought that the proposal, supported by such high-powered federations as the United States, Germany and Russia, would be accepted. But the IAAF voted by 137 to 49 to keep the ban at four years for first-time offenders. Anyone caught a second time is automatically banned for life.