Olympic legend Michael Johnson ‘accused of racism’ for repeated questioning at World Championships

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Former US track and field star Michael Johnson pushes back on racism allegations after he questioned the accuracy of some finishing times World Athletics Championships,

Johnson’s suspicions came to the fore as follows Nigeria’s Toby Amusan Set a world record in the semi-finals of 100 meters hurdles with a time of 12.12 seconds. She was even faster in the wind aided final. She had earlier finished fourth in the Olympics last year and fourth in the World Championships in 2019.

According to The New York Times, it wasn’t exactly the record-breaking performance that raised eyebrows, but it was everyone else in the race to score a personal best.

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Nigeria’s gold medalist Toby Amusan poses during a medal ceremony for the women’s 100 meters hurdles at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

johnson, joe Won four Olympic gold medals During his career in the 200 m, 400 m and 4×400 m relay, questioned whether the handicap timing was accurate.

“I can’t believe 100 hours is right. World record broken by .08! 12 PB set. 5 national record set. And Cindy Sember said after her PB/NR ‘I was going completely slow’ !’ All the athletes looked shocked,” he wrote. “Heat 2 was shown us winning the first time of 12.53. After few seconds it shows 12.43. It is normal to fall below .01. .10 is not.”

Johnson was accused of being biased towards the Nigerian team.

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Michael Johnson, a multiple-time Olympic champion and world champion in the long sprint distance, is commentating for the BBC on the fifth day of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field Stadium today.

Michael Johnson, a multiple-time Olympic champion and world champion in the long sprint distance, is commentating for the BBC on the fifth day of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field Stadium today.
(ANP via Getty Images)

“My job as a commentator is to comment. I was attacked, accused of racism, and one athlete questioning the timing of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) wondering whether the timing system was flawed. Questioned the brilliance of which I respect and predict. To win. Unacceptable. I move on,” he tweeted.

Amuson said he did not expect to set a world record after the race, but believed in his abilities as a handicap.

“I believe in my abilities, but I wasn’t expecting a world record at these championships,” she said. “The goal is always to do well and win.”

Toby Amusan of Nigeria celebrates winning the women's 100m hurdles final at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.

Toby Amusan of Nigeria celebrates winning the women’s 100m hurdles final at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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The previous record held by American Kenny Harrison was .08 seconds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.