The way Carl Lewis sees it, steroid use by women in track and field has been on the rise, ethics of Americans in his sport are low, and The Athletics Congress is more of a hindrance than a help.
Lewis, a winner of six gold medals in the last two Olympic Games, also said Wednesday that improvement by track and field athletes might be slowed by sub-par coaching.Lewis was in Los Angeles for filming of the Fox Network television show "Beyond Tomorrow, the Hi-tech Science Series." The show will be aired Feb. 11 at 9 p.m.
"I believe the performance-enhancing drug usage among women is higher than among men, this year," Lewis said in a telephone interview. "Last year, I wouldn't agree with that. I think the men declined in 1988.
"People generally focus on the men. Maybe it will improve in 1989 for the women."
Lewis, who won four gold medals in the 1984 Olympics and two in the Games at Seoul, South Korea, last summer, refused to name names.
"We're trying to create awareness," he said. "When we focus on the individuals, it takes away from the problem.
"It's definitely a turnoff to me, not only from an athletic standpoint but from a society standpoint," Lewis said of steroids. "It's a drug. Every drug collectively is just ruining our society as a whole. I'm more against it for that reason.
"There are people that I believe are on drugs, yes. The main thing is to try to focus on solving the problem rather than isolating the people."
Lewis said a lack of ethics contributed to steroid use.
"Eventually, hopefully ethics can take over," he said. "Our ethics are very low. Some people justify taking drugs, the idea being whatever it takes to win and it's not illegal. But it's unethical."
Lewis, 27, also expressed the opinion that The Athletics Congress, the governing body of track and field in the United States, is damaging the sport. He said the many funds TAC receives are not being used as well as they could to benefit the sport.