Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSponsors

Newswire

Johnson Not Permitted to Attend Gretzky Event

June 18, 1989

Sprinter Ben Johnson's invitation to today's Wayne Gretzky celebrity softball game at Brantford, Canada, has been withdrawn by the event's corporate sponsors.

"Ben is a very controversial person, and we felt it wouldn't be appropriate if (he) came," said Brian Cooper, president of Hollis Communications, which manages the event.

"It wasn't just a flippant decision. We're trying to raise funds, and by having Ben we thought we might have created a media circus that would have taken away from the charity and fund-raising aspects."

Johnson told a federal inquiry in Toronto last Tuesday that he knowingly took the steroids that cost him a gold medal in the 100 meters at the Seoul Olympics.

Johnson was unavailable for comment, but Gretzky seemed disappointed that the invitation had been withdrawn by the event's corporate sponsors, who have final say on the guest list.

"I think that what Ben did was wrong, without question, but I think we've punished him enough," the Kings' star said. "I think we should just drop it and give him another chance."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|