Michael Johnson, the eight-time World champion, is troubled by athletes missing their drug tests and not paying heed to World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.
His position comes against the backdrop of Bahrain’s World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser missing three drug tests in the 12 months before winning the world 400m title last year and another in January.
Additionally, Christian Coleman, the reigning world champion in the 100-meter dash was suspended recently by the Athletics Integrity Unit for missing drug tests, based on World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct.
In a tweet, Johnson noted, “I believe the sport can legally increase the punishment for missed tests.”
He noted further, “Increase the punishment to 4 years, and you’ll see fewer missed tests.”
“Two (2 years) gives the presumption of innocence already,” added Johnson.
He said further, “Maybe it’s not labeled as equal to positive, but the punishment should be.”
The 52-year-old retired sprinter won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals in the span of his career.
He formerly held the world and Olympic records in the 200 m and 400 m, as well as the world record in the indoor 400 meters, and once held the world’s best time in the 300 m.
Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field.
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