Track legend Michael Johnson has slammed ‘dumbassery’ accusations of ‘black racism’ directed at him after he raised questions about the legitimacy of Nigerian sprinter Tobi Amusan’s world record.
The 100-meter hurdler romped to victory in 12.12 seconds to beat Kendra Harrison’s 2016 world record by 0.08 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon Sunday.
Johnson took exception to the times recorded in the stadium, in which 12 athletes of 24 in the semi-finals recorded their best ever times.
The 54-year-old, who claimed four Olympic golds and eight World Championship golds in a stellar track career, took to Twitter after seeing how many athletes looked shocked at their own times.
But he was immediately hit with a backlash, and fumed in response: ‘The level of dumbassery coming across my feed right now is truly staggering!
‘As a commentator my job is to comment. In questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) by wondering if the timing system malfunctioned.
‘I was attacked, accused of racism, and of questioning the talent of an athlete I respect and predicted to win. Unacceptable. I move on.’
Initially, the American had written: ‘I don’t believe 100h (100m hurdles) times are correct.
‘World record broken by .08! 12 PBs (personal bests) set. 5 National records set. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR (national record) ‘I thought I was running slow!’ All athletes looked shocked [sic].
‘Heat 2 we were first shown winning time of 12.53. Few seconds later it shows 12.43. Rounding down by .01 is normal. .10 is not.’
Amusan became world champion in an even faster time later in the day at Hayward Field but the time did not count toward records due to a hefty tailwind.