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Sprinter Ben Johnson’s coach dies

Charlie Francis, the disgraced former coach of scandal-plagued Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, died on Wednesday aged 60 after a five-year battle with cancer, his family said in a statement.

Johnson won the 1988 Olympic 100 metres title but was stripped of his gold medal and world-record time after he tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol, reports Reuters.

Francis told a national inquiry that he introduced Johnson to steroids and was banned from coaching by Athletics Canada.

He trained several of Canada’s top athletes before the ban and afterward also worked briefly with disgraced US sprinters Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.

A Canadian sprint champion himself, Francis was considered a leading expert on sprinting despite his association with steroid use.

He died in a Toronto hospital.


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