Declaring she is "fed up with all the bull," a teammate of Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson alleged she and the disgraced athlete knowingly took steroids provided by Johnson's doctor.
Angella Issajenko, a sprinter with Johnson's Mazda Optimists track club, said in an interview published Sunday in the Toronto Star that Dr. Jamie Astaphan had supplied steroids to athletes with the knowledge of coach Charlie Francis."I just don't care any more. I'm fed up with all the bull," Issajenko said. "Ben takes steroids, I take steroids. Jamie (Astaphan) gives them to us, and Charlie isn't a scientist but he knows what's happening."
Another Canadian sprinter, Angela Bailey, said hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD have been widely used by some Canadian runners in wild attempts to win their races.
"Cocaine, heroin, LSD, whatever they can do to win, they'll do it," said the 26-year-old Mississauga, Ontario, resident, who ran in the 100 meter dash and 400-meter relay at the Seoul Olympics.
Her claims to the Toronto Star are backed up by John Mumford, her former coach. Mumford said Sunday that he has seen athletes at recent competitions whose hyperventilation after a sprint points to "amphetamine and cocaine use."
Bailey wasn't surprised by Issajenko's admission that she has taken steroids for years. In 1983, Bailey had accused Issajenko and Molly Killingbeck of using anabolic steroids.
She said she knows of six other athletes, besides Ben Johnson and Issajenko, who use steroids.
Johnson, 26, repeatedly has denied knowingly taking any illegal drugs.
"When I read how (Johnson's) so innocent and Charlie is so guilty, I want to scream at Ben to tell the truth. Stop lying and tell everyone you take steroids and you know you take steroids," said Issajenko, 30.
Johnson won the 100-meter race in Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 24 in a record 9.79 seconds. But he later was stripped of the record and the Olympic gold when traces of the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol were found in his urine.
Test results from the International Olympic Committee indicated long-term use of the muscle-building drug.
An inquiry into the affair was launched last week by the Canadian government, and an agency that supervises doctors is investigating allegations that Astaphan supplied steroids to Olympic athletes. Astaphan has said he gave Johnson a form of steroids not forbidden by Olympic rules.
Issajenko said she knew Johnson was receiving steroids from Astaphan between 1984 and 1986, but "Ben was going on his own" to Astaphan after that.
Issajenko, a finalist in the 1987 World Championships, said she was trying to protect Johnson when she earlier fabricated a story that someone had tried to sabotage the Canadian team in Seoul.
"What did I do to harm Ben? I made up a story about sabotage. Did that hurt Ben? I was trying to help him, but I don't know what kind of games he's playing," she said.
Issajenko acknowledged her statements would likely end her own career.
"I feel like a snitch, but I don't care any more. It's all going to come out sooner or later," she said. "My career is over, Charlie is finished as a coach and Jamie probably won't be able to be a doctor in either Canada or (his native) St. Kitts.
"And Ben? Well, Ben just keeps saying how innocent he is and everybody trusts him. I can't believe the way he's treated Charlie and I'm not going to sit around and be quiet about it."