Former U.S.A. track and field athlete, Michael Johnson, has been accused of racism after he questioned the accuracy of Tobi Amusan’s World record time at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist was livid on social media after Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan set a world record in the 100-meter hurdles semifinals with a time of 12.12 seconds, beating American Kendra Harrison’s in 2016, by 0.08 seconds.
Michael Johnson who was in disbelieve took to Twitter handle to express his view.
I don’t believe 100h times are correct, Johnson tweeted.
World record broken by .08! 12 PBs set. 5 National records set. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR ‘I throughly [sic] I was running slow!’ All athletes looked shocked.
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, he added in a separate tweet.
Following his rant, Tobi Amusan went on to win the final, setting another record at 12.06.
Unfortunately for Johnson, some critics on Twitter defended Tobi and called Johnson “dumb” for “discrediting” her win.
Why don’t you channel your energy to recovering from your stroke you Black racist! one user wrote to Johnson.
The following day, Johnson went on the BBC to defend his comment and called the alleged racism accusations “unacceptable.”
As a commentator my job is to comment, Johnson wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
Michael Johnson, is a Black former U.S. track and field star who won eight World Championship gold medals in his career.