On this date in 1989, Canadian track star Ben Johnson admitted for the first time that he was a steroid user. Johnson had been stripped of the gold medal he won in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, after he tested positive for the muscle-enhancing drug. The U.S. Olympic Committee began a steroid testing program in 1983 after tests at the Pan-American Games in Venezuela showed that some athletes, including Americans, were using banned drugs. Athletes can become psychologically addicted to anabolic steroids, and long-term use of steroids can cause liver damage, baldness, testicular atrophy, and even cancer and heart disease. In 1993, Johnson's career ended when he received a lifetime ban by the International Amateur Athletic Federation after failing a second drug test.
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