Canadian Olympian Dave McKnight admits using banned drugs as far back as 1978, and says teammate Desai Williams also used them.

McKnight, for 12 years a friend and teammate of Williams, testified Thursday during a federal drug inquiry that he and Williams began using muscle-building steroids in the fall of 1978 while on track scholarships at Clemson University in South Carolina."I clearly recollect - we used to joke about it, we used to laugh about how big and how strong we were getting," said McKnight, 30, the 10th Canadian track athlete to admit at the commission hearing to using banned drugs.

Earlier this week, Williams told the inquiry into drug abuse in sport that he experimented with the chemicals only once - briefly in 1987.

Williams, the No. 2 sprinter in Canada, also claimed their Toronto coach, Charlie Francis, vowed to "destroy track and field" by implicating others in testimony after his superstar, Ben Johnson, failed a drug test at last September's Seoul Olympics.

Last month, Francis admitted his part in the scandal that cost Johnson a gold medal and a world record in the 100 meters.

"Desai's testimony is pretty cheap, pretty poor," McKnight said outside the hearing room. "He's reaped all the rewards and now he's just destroyed Chuck."

The stylish McKnight - head shaven, a gold stud in his left ear and wearing a white mandarin-collared shirt - said a Canadian coach at Clemson, Peter Cross, provided the steroid tablets.

A sprinter and long jumper, McKnight said the program was coach Sam Colson's idea and included at least one other Canadian athlete, Raymond Daley. McKnight, Williams, Daley and another Canadian, Cornell Messam, were roommates.

"They were my close friends, my peers for years," said McKnight, who came to Canada from Trinidad in 1967.

Colson and another Clemson coach, Sam Narewski, were fined, ordered to perform community service and received suspended jail sentences after pleading guilty in 1985 to seven counts of dispensing steroids to university athletes.

One of Colson's athletes, cross-country runner Augustinius Jaspers, died in 1984 of a congenital heart condition. Steroids were found in his body.