Carl Lewis is a unique American athlete. He became an Olympic champion in several disciplines: sprint and broad jump. In total, he collected 9 medals from four Olympic Games. His name is associated with some steroid speculations, which we will discuss below.
Carl Lewis’ background
Carl Lewis was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1961. Athletics first impressed his imagination at the age of 7, when he watched the speech of American jumper Bob Beamon on the TV. At the Olympic Games in Mexico City, Beam’s record was 8 meters 90 centimeters. Then it was called a leap into the 21st century. Indeed, his record was beaten only in 1991 by another American, Mike Powell, at the World Championships (8 meters 95 centimeters). At the Olympics, Beamon’s achievement is still unbeatable. In 1968, immediately after the broadcast, shocked Carl Lewis went into the yard to measure the length of the car standing near the house. He wanted to see what 8,90 was. His father was a sports coach, so Lewis had known the cost of meters and seconds in sports since childhood. The whole family was sportive. His mother participated in the hurdles competition at the Pan-American games. However, the parents did not want their son to be engaged in sports. In every possible way, they encouraged him to practice music, singing and dancing. They knew how hard the sporting career was. At school, Carl was simultaneously engaged in American football, swimming and running. In 1971, Carl Lewis showed good results in broad jump at school competitions. After the awarding ceremony, a stranger approached him, who praised him and predicted the future of the champion if he continued in the same spirit. So Lewis met another sport legend. He was Jesse Owens. Carl had heard about him for the first time. Therefore, his father was telling him all evening about Owens’ incredible sporting feats: five world records set for 45 minutes in 1935, victories at the Olympic Games. Lewis admits that it was in that evening that he finally decided that he would be a great athlete.
However, the career in sports almost ended for him when he was 12 years old. Playing in the yard, he damaged the right tendon. The trauma was so severe that healthcare professionals strictly prohibited jumping for him. But Carl did not follow their advice. Having hardly recovered, he returned to the sector for jumping. In a year, he achieved a result of 5.5 meters. At age 17 his record was 7 meters 85 centimeters. As soon as he turned 18, he was included in the US team of track and field athletics. He was preparing intensively for the Moscow Olympics. But because of the war in Afghanistan he was forced to boycott the Games along with the entire American team. Therefore, he continued to study at the University of Houston and exercise.
Carl Lewis after the end of his career
The famous athlete completed his sporting career in 1997. One of the greatest athletes of the world announced the retirement from the big sport after winning the 4 × 100 metres relay race in Berlin. It is noteworthy that Carl Lewis in recent years has been a vegetarian. And now he is actively engaged in charity and coaching activities, as well as in politics. He lives in the USA. He is also the author of a series of books on healthy lifestyles. In addition, he advertises sports products.
Carl Lewis and steroids (doping scandal)
In 2003, the most popular sports magazine of the United States of America called Sports Illustrated published official documents accusing the US Olympic Committee of concealing numerous cases of doping scandals in which famous American athletes were involved. The “Case”, which included 30 thousand pages, had been given to Sports Illustrated by former US NOC official Dr. Wade Exum, who held that post from 1991 to 2000. His materials show that many stars of American sports had “positive” results in doping tests, but the leadership of the country’s Olympic Committee did not react to violation of sports ethics and “guilty” athletes continued to compete unhindered at competitions of any level, including the Olympic Games.
The papers that Exum gave to the magazine mention more than 100 cases of positive doping tests that were hidden and the public of the country was not aware of them. The former head of this service claims that only in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, American athletes caught in using illegal drugs won a total of 19 medals.
In the published material, Sport Illustrated presented (based on Exum’s materials) a complete list of offenders. It is “headed” by the legendary athlete Carl Lewis. It turns out that on the eve of the Olympics-88 in Seoul, he failed doping control three times at internal qualifying competitions. The sportsman’s blood contained small amounts of such substances as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.
The US NOC first punished Lewis (Exum claims that the athlete was even disqualified), but then relented, taking into account the athlete’s justification: he took medicines for cold, having no idea that they contained forbidden elements. Lewis was acquitted of “unintentional use of stimulating substances by inattention” and was included in the track and field athletics team of the country. He participated in 1988 Summer Olympics in Korea, from where he returned with two gold medals and the title of “sprint king.”
The list of prohibited drugs users contains Lewis’ friend and former exercising partner, known runner Joe DeLoach, who in the same place, in Seoul, won the 200-meter race. The same goes for famous another “offender” André Phillips, who won the gold award in the 400m hurdles. It follows from Exum’s materials that DeLoach and Phillips were justified on the same grounds as Lewis.
Reaction of Lewis
“They’re all crazy. I have not been running for five years. But they do not leave me alone. They have been telling the most abominable things about me, they badmouthed me, they lowered my successes. They have been keeping a wary eye on looking for a reason to destroy. All this is still going on. They have lost common sense.” This is the response of the nine-time Olympic champion in sprint and broad jump American Carl Lewis to a sensational article in the weekly Sports Illustrated.
Perhaps Carl is telling the truth, who knows. But on the Internet, there are suggestions that he used Anavar. The main component of this anabolic is oxandrolone. Basically, athletes use it to reduce the percentage of subcutaneous fat (as a steroid for cutting) and thus giving muscle definition. It also enhances stamina and performance. Such results are most desired for athletes, runners, biathletes who want to increase endurance, reaction speed and strength without gaining weight.