It's easy to feel some sympathy for Ben Johnson. Yes, he cheated. There is nothing heroic about him due to that. However, he knows that the 1988 Olympic 100m final was full of drug cheats. That much has been pretty clearly confirmed. He believed he was just doing what everyone else was doing. So he won and yet he was the only one busted. It's easy to see how he would feel singled out.
Carl Lewis DID have positive tests that were ignored. Technically, if the rules had been followed, he shouldn't have even been in the 1988 Olympics. Whether or not it was actually just because he took cold medicine, who knows? To me it seems unlikely. For one thing, you would think it would have been common knowledge that taking cold medicine would cause a positive test, if that was the case. I mean, just to spell it out clearly, it seems the more likely scenario is he actually intentionally took stimulants because he knew they would benefit him, and later claimed that the positives must have been due to cold medicine.
And a lot of people seem to be happy to say, stimulants are no big deal really compared to steroids. I say, maybe, or maybe not. It's not like there's tons of good data out there about the benefits of stimulants in athletic events. I assume that since they are banned, they must provide some kind of benefit.