RULES don't change for Johnson

Monday, May 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

USA Track and Field's board of directors discussed but in the end decided Sunday not to amend its rules to clear the way for Michael Johnson to pursue his 10th gold medal in the World Championships this summer.

Johnson said he was not disappointed by the decision.

"I never asked for anything special, and I'm never going to," Johnson said. "I don't want any controversy to take away from what I want to do this year. If it was going to be a controversy, I don't want that."

Johnson, who will retire after this season, has said he would run only relays this year so that he wouldn't have to focus as keenly on training and competition and would have more time to say goodbye to his fans in clinics, autograph sessions and other activities.

Nike, Johnson's principal sponsor, wanted him to run the 4x400 relay at Worlds. But that would have required a change in the rule requiring that he compete in the open 400 at the U.S. championships.