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Ben Johnson claims Carl Lewis behind positive drug test in Seoul Add to ...

"I have no relationship with the Raptors but I do work with athletes," Farnum says. "I can 'discern' all the players, know the strengths and weaknesses of all the players. Our souls are our software package and I can discern the software package."

To discern, Johnson explains in his book, means to "serve as a vessel, allowing the Christ, the Spiritual Body of God, to flow through and express the Truth."

Farnum was a merchant banker when his four-year-old son Michael, the youngest of five children, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Farnum and his wife turned to prayer and the alternative health community and when Michael survived, Farnum decided to dedicate his life to healing and spiritual growth.

He believes that fears or insecurities, and even illness, are the result of leftover baggage from previous lives. When told of a fear of flying, Farnum discerns the guest died in a plane crash in a past life.

"God just told me that," he says.

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Johnson has been working on his memoirs for years, but much of the original book was trashed and rewritten after he met Farnum, who deemed it too angry.

Seoul to Soul is interspersed with Farnum's discernments, where he answers Johnson's questions to God.

Johnson's original publisher wasn't pleased with the changes, so Johnson and Farnum went the self-publishing route. It can be purchased on Johnson's website www.benjohnsonenterprises.com.

The book has vivid details of Johnson's childhood in Jamaica, with its sea and sun and easy life. Born to mom Gloria and dad Ben Sr., 10 years her senior, Johnson survived a bout of malaria as a baby but it would be his difficult early years in Toronto that would prove more troublesome.

Johnson's mom moved to Canada in 1972 after visiting a friend here, and sent for Johnson and three of his siblings four years later. His dad and two more siblings would remain in Jamaica.

Johnson was an awkward 93-pound boy and a target for school bullies, and his track career sprouted when he challenged one bullying classmate to a race.

His rivalry with Lewis, he writes, began back in 1980 at the Pan American junior championships in Sudbury, Ont. It wasn't long after that steroids became part of his training protocol, introduced by coach Charlie Francis (Johnson remained close with Francis and was at his bedside when he died of cancer last May).

He met Jackson - also known by his nickname "Action" - a couple of years before the Seoul Olympics, the American befriending him, he says, with sabotage already on his mind. Johnson believes Jackson may have been financed by one of Lewis's sponsors.

"Something we would like Andre Jackson to be asked: did he receive any cash from any sponsorship and why did he receive that cash?" Farnum says.

Johnson alleges Jackson spiked his drink at a race two years earlier in Zurich, resulting in a positive test that was never reported.

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Lewis dedicated two chapters to Johnson and the Seoul Olympics in his 1990 autobiography Inside Track. The nine-time Olympic gold medallist, who was given the gold after Johnson was stripped of the medal, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Johnson scandal.

"The absurdity of this accusation speaks for itself," Lewis's publicist Andrew Freedman said in a statement to The Canadian Press. "There is no truth to Mr. Johnson's claim."

Joe Douglas, Lewis's former long-time manager and founder of the Santa Monica track club, says he's grown weary of talking about Johnson.

"I know Ben has a lot of frustration. But he was guilty and he was caught, and he admitted it in court, as did his coach," Douglas says in a phone interview. "And I can tell you Carl was a clean athlete.

"I hope that (Johnson) gets his life together and lives a good life. We want people to move on and be successful and happy.

"I didn't read his book and I probably never will read it. But I wish him happiness and that he can move on with his life and be successful."

Douglas blames Francis and Johnson's doctor Jamie Astaphan for the Canadian's troubled track career.

"I think Ben didn't realize the damage that drugs can do, and I think he was influenced by the people around him, his doctor and his coach," Douglas says. "I don't think it's fair of coaches and drug people to take advantage of athletes."

Jackson is now a diamond magnate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and head of Africa's largest holding company.

He told The Associated Press recently that he has no interest in revisiting the events of Seoul, where Johnson says Jackson was in the doping control room after the race, and handed him several beers to drink before he provided his urine sample.

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