Many of you had asked me to provide more information on the rumors. So I did some research.
Though Wikipedia is not exactly 100%, here is what they had to say about the issue (for the complete article, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Griffith_Joyner):Â
Aside from the controversy of whether her world record should have been held legal in view of the anemometer issues, during her 1988 breakthrough year, Griffith-Joyner was dogged by rumors of drug use. Some suggested that her times could only be the result of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, mainly in that she was rather old for a sprinter (she was 28 years old in 1988), that her physique changed dramatically in 1988, showing marked gains in muscle mass and definition, and her performance improved dramatically over a short period of time. Before the 1988 season, Griffith Joyner's best 100 meter time was 10.96 seconds â€” not even in the then best 40 marks of all time. In 1988 she improved that by 0.47 seconds, a time that no one has approached since. Similarly, her pre-1988 best at 200 meters was 21.96, a mark not in the top 20 runs on the all-time list. In 1988 she improved that by 0.67 seconds, another time which has not been approached. Griffith-Joyner attributed the change in her physique to new health programs.
Her retirement from competitive track and field after her 1988 Olympic Games triumph further fueled the controversy as mandatory random drug testing was about to be implemented in 1989. Under the less stringent testing schedule during her career, no evidence was found that Griffith-Joyner used performance enhancing drugs. It is now acknowledged that East Germany, for example, conducted a massive program of drug use which also went undetected under the old system of testing. Sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive at the same Olympic Games.
Her death, which autopsies revealed was due to a congenital defect, was a matter of dispute. The authorities stated that there was no indication of any drug or steroid use, past or present, information that her family lauded. The coroner's office was not allowed to test Griffith-Joyner's body for drugs, steroids or growth hormones after her death.
Her death at 38 was seen by some as another case of steroid use resulting in the user dying young.
The effect of questionable, and seemingly unreachable, times posted by Griffith-Joyner and others (see Marita Koch and Jarmila Kratochvilova) in the 1980s on women's sprinting was described in 1995 by then 200 meter world champion Gwen Torrence: "To me they don't exist and women sprinters are suffering as a result of what she did to the times in the 100 and 200".
Also, I found some additional resources online as well:
Here's what the UK's Observer Guardian said back in February of 2004 (full article can be found here: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,,1140773,00.html)
Her dramatic improvement in 1988 and rapid retirement, then her shockingly early death, have led many to conclude that Griffith Joyner was using steroids and other banned drugs, and that she is one of the greatest cheats in the history of sport.
After an unremarkable start to her career then finishing second to Silke Gladisch-MÃ¶ller in the 1987 world championships, Flo-Jo's physique began to change dramatically. By the start of the season in 1988 - Olympic year - she was toned and extraordinarily powerful. Suddenly the also-ran was rewriting the record books, running times that were tenths of seconds faster than anything in history. Yet little more than a year later, at the height of her powers, Flo-Jo retired.
The doubters said she had retired to beat the drugs testers. Her explanation was that she wanted to pursue an acting career. Whatever the truth, her decision was at odds with her previous plans - just weeks earlier she had spoken of her goals for the new season. The increasing allegations of steroid abuse were always vigorously denied by Griffith Joyner, right up until her death, aged 38, in 1998, from a heart seizure. 'It's all fabrication and lies,' she said. 'I'd be a fool to take drugs.'
She was supported by her loyal husband and coach, Al Joyner, the 1984 Olympic triple jump gold medallist. 'The one consistent thing about my wife,' he said shortly after her death, 'was that she never dodged those questions [about drug abuse], never hid from anything. When the [clean] autopsy report came out it was no surprise to me. It was her ultimate drugs test. Where can they go from there? They can't argue with it.'
Many people, however, always will.
Even fan sites have weighed in on this article including arguments on Human Growth Hormone and steriods and athlete. Check out this article on Sportingo: http://www.sportingo.com/more_sports/sport_drugs_flojo_rocky_horror/1001,3643.
What are your thoughts?