Confirming testimony by Ben Johnson's coach of steroid use, female sprinter Angella Taylor Issajenko today said she started to use the banned substances 10 years ago "to give me the extra edge I needed."
She also told the Canadian inquiry into drugs and athletics that American shotputter Brian Oldfield gave her steroid tablets and an injection in 1981."I don't want to blame it all on him," she said. "I asked for it."
Issajenko said she first took steroids in 1979 after she was soundly beaten by East German sprinters at a dual meet.
"I saw these people and I wanted to be like them," she said. "I wanted to be just as fast as they were."
Issajenko read from her diary in which she kept a precise record of steroid types and doses.
Ontario Associate Justice Charles Dubin said the diary, which contained personal information, did not have to be submitted as evidence to become part of the public record.
She said the decision to take steroids was made after discussions with Charlie Francis, her coach as well as Johnson's.
A May 30, 1981, entry in her diary recorded five milligrams of the steroid Anavar and five milligrams of dianabol at a meet in West Germany.
She said she obtained the Anavar tablets from Oldfield and later a 150-milligram injection from him of a mixture of primobolin, decoderobolin and testosterone.
Taking her testimony through the year 1981, she said she also received injections twice from Canadian shotputter Bishop Dolegiewicz.
Senior commission counsel Robert Armstrong opened the hearings Feb. 28 by saying more accounts of steroid use would be heard than anywhere in the world and urging that the athletes not be penalized for their candor.
Francis then started what would prove to be a marathon, eight-day appearance with testimony of nearly a decade of steroid use by Issajenko, Johnson and 11 other of his athletes.