Sprinter Ben Johnson, who lost his world 100-meter record and was kicked out of the 1988 Olympics for testing positive for steroids, was given government clearance yesterday to run again for Canada.

Canadian Sports Minister Marcel Danis reversed the ruling of his predecessor, Jean Charest, who in 1988 banned Johnson for life from competing for the national team. Danis said Johnson's ban from federal funding would remain in effect.

Johnson said he'd come back strong -- predicting he'll win the 100-meter gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

"I'll win . . . for sure," he said. "I have to prove to myself all over again that I can do it without drugs."

Athletics Canada said Johnson would be reinstated to the national team after his two-year suspension by track and field's international governing body expires Sept. 24 -- if the sprinter can meet team standards.

"I'm just very happy that the government gave me the okay to run for this country again," Johnson said. "I want to thank the Canadian public who supported me. This is one of the happiest days of my life, so far." . . .

Andrea Philipp continued East Germany's domination in the women's sprints and Nigerian Davidson Ezwinwa equaled the men's 100-meter meet record at the World Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Philipp was timed in 11.36 seconds to succeed Diana Dietz of East Germany as the junior champion. East Germans took all the sprint golds in women's individual and relay events at the last junior championships, two years ago.

Ezwinwa of Nigeria captured the men's event in 10.17 (with a legal wind of 0.7 meters per second), tying the mark set by American Derrick Florence four years ago.