Carl Lewis broke his silence on allegations that he was the beneficiary of a drugs cover-up, admitting he had tested positive for banned substances but claimed that he was just one of “hundreds” of American athletes who were allowed to escape bans.

The article was written by Duncan Mackay in The Guardian several years ago, but there are many who continue to have a problem with the comments made by the U.S. legend, whose international career ran from 1979 to 1997.

“There were hundreds of people getting off,” he was quoted as saying in the Guardian at the time. “Everyone was treated the same.”

Lewis was heavily criticized by several members of the track and field community for his statements and further comments he made, questioning Jamaica’s doping controls when Usain Bolt was dominating. Usain Bolt Blasts Olympic Legend Carl Lewis

The U.S. sprinter acknowledged at the time of the report that he failed three tests during the 1988 US Olympic trials, which under international rules at the time should have prevented him from competing in the Seoul games two months later.

“The climate was different then,” said Lewis. “Over the years a lot of people will sit around and debate that [the drug] does something. There really is no pure evidence to show that it does something. It does nothing.” Read more about Bolt vs Lewis: Carl Lewis former coach says the American shades Usain Bolt

During his very fruitful international career, Lewis won nine Olympic gold medals, including four in the long jump, while winning eight world championships titles to go along with a couple of major championships silver medals, and a bronze medal.

Currently, Lewis is conveying his years of competitive experience to the teaching aspect of track and field. He is now a member of the University of Houston men’s and women’s track and field coaching staff, which also includes fellow American sprint great Leroy Burrell.

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