Maurren Higa Maggi SteroidsBrazilian long jumper Maurren Higa Maggi won the gold in Beijing with 7.04m from her first attempt. The distance should have elicited congratulatory backslaps from those in attendance at the Bird’s Nest Stadium instead her triumph earned some black comments. The reason? The 32-year-old Maggi had tested positive for the anabolic steroid Clostebol five years ago.

One of Maggi’s most vocal detractors was Jade Johnson, Britain’s No.1 long jumper. Johnson was quite disappointed with her performance in the long jump final event – she finished sixth – but it was clear that she was more disappointed that Maggi took home the gold.

“The more annoying thing for me was that she came back and won the Olympic Games,” said Johnson. “That is the most annoying thing for me – ever.

Maggi was cleared by the Brazilian Athletic Federation of any doping violations in 2003. She had denied any wrongdoing saying the banned substance was in her hair-removal cream. The International Association of Athletics Federations made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overcome BAF’s acquittal but the Brazilian long jumper did not attend the hearing and served the two-year suspension.

To Johnson, it seemed, Maggi should have been disqualified from the Olympics – with or without the hair-removal cream.

“I don’t think anyone should be allowed back, regardless. I still would only have come sixth but the girls a few down the line would have got a medal. I was hoping anyone would beat her.

“People should be banned for life if they take drugs. Simple as that. Two years is not long enough. I am sure you must still have it in your system and you must still have benefits.

“It’s really frustrating when you train really hard. I didn’t give my best today but if I was the girl in fourth place I would be really angry right now. You train really hard, you put everything in, you make sacrifices in everything.”

Maggi, who is married to race car driver Antônio Pizzonia, downplayed the steroid incident.

“You know what, doping happens,” Maggi said. “It was a bad accident for me. I knew I still have things to do. Today I came with gold, it is unbelievable.”

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