Canada's Desai Williams, furthest left, placed sixth in the men's 100m final at the Seoul 1988 Olympics, a race won by compatriot Ben Johnson, second left, who was later stripped of his gold medal ©Getty Images

Canadian sprinter Desai Williams, a Los Angeles 1984 Olympic medallist, has died suddenly at the age of 62.

The St Kitts and Nevis-born athlete helped Canada to bronze in the men's 4x100 metres relay alongside Ben Johnson, Tony Sharpe and Sterling Hinds.

Williams finished sixth in the men's 100m final at Seoul 1988, a race after which team-mate Johnson was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol.

Williams also earned gold at the Edinburgh 1986 Commonwealth Games in the men's 4x100m relay, following a silver in the same event at Brisbane 1982.

Both Williams and Johnson trained at the Scarborough Optimists Track Club with the disgraced coach Charlie Francis.

In 1989, Williams testified to the Dubin Inquiry that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs in 1987, but claimed to have done so under duress from Francis.

Williams also said pressure to use drugs played a "major role" in his decision to leave Francis' training group for four years, before returning in 1987.

Williams went on to serve as a coach, but was given a lifetime coaching ban by Athletics Canada in 2018 after he was found to have violated its sexual harassment policy in 2010

Trinidad and Tobago's Ato Boldon, a four-time Olympic medallist, posted "R.I.P. 1988 Olympic 100m finalist Desai Williams of Canada" on Twitter.

Canadian Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Damon Allen wrote: "My condolences to the family of Desai Williams, I will miss our times on the track during our run to the Grey Cup in 2004.

"Thank you.


No official cause of death has been given for Williams.