Johnson Loses Gold Medal

SEOUL, South Korea--Canadian Ben Johnson was stripped of the gold medal yesterday for his world record-setting 100-meter victory after testing positive for steroids.

NBC said the medal would be awarded to American Carl Lewis, who won the long jump yesterday. IOC spokeswoman Michele Verdier said the medal could be given to Lewis or first place would be left vacant.

Johnson, the third athlete in this Olympics to be stripped of a gold medal, was flying home to Toronto, leaving Olympic officials shaken and Canadian coaches stunned.

Johnson's associates said they couldn't believe he had used steroids.

"The only thing we can say at this stage is that it is a tragedy, a mistake or a sabotage," said Johnson's manager, Larry Heidebrecht. "Up to five days before the race, Ben was in perfect condition. Something has happened in those days.

"We do not know what happened and how it happened, but apparently somebody has sabotaged Ben and we will find out who it was and how it was done."

Verdier said traces of stanozolol, a water-based steroid, were found in a urine sample taken after Saturday's race.

She acknowledged a Canadian contention of sabotage, that the substance might have been administered to Johnson after the race.