Style, grace Track: Griffith-Joyner gave her sport flash and dash, but she will never escape suspicion.

September 24, 1998

EVEN IN death, Florence Griffith-Joyner will be haunted by a question mark. Her rivals and track fans will always wonder if drugs helped the three-time Olympic gold medalist run faster than any woman ever has in the 100- and 200-meter races.

Some would never accept her denials, although she never flunked a drug test. Ms. Griffith-Joyner, who succumbed to an apparent heart seizure Monday at age 38, certainly cannot disprove those rumors in death.

The controversy should not obscure that she was one of a kind, a superstar who combined sizzling speed with spectacular style. Her long, painted fingernails and colorful, one-legged outfits boosted the popularity of the sport and elevated her to icon status.

Pub Date: 9/24/98

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