John Cook, director of the Mobil 1 Invitational indoor meet at George Mason University in Fairfax, is negotiating with Ben Johnson in an effort to lure the Canadian sprinter to the 1991 renewal. Johnson recently was reinstated after a two-year suspension for steroid use.
"I'm trying very hard to bring him here," Cook said. "I'd do flips if he'd come. I'll even change the distance from 60 meters to 50 meters if that's what he wants. But we need to consider a lot of things, principally of course the money. He can sell a lot of tickets in L.A. I don't need to sell tickets. I need more seats."
Al Franken, director of the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles, has signed Johnson for his 1991 indoor meet. Johnson is believed to be asking $30,000 a meet, but Mobil 1 might get him cheaper by offering a package with New York's Millrose Games two days earlier. . . .
Britain plans to press the International Amateur Athletic Federation to ban first-time drug users for four years, contending the two-year suspension is no deterrent.
Last week's IAAF bans on world record holders Butch Reynolds and Randy Barnes suggest two years is not long enough, said Tony Ward of the British Amateur Athletic Board.
"The fact that Barnes and Reynolds got caught shows that two years is no deterrent," Ward said of the American shot putter and 400-meter runner, who are contesting the findings. " . . . A four-year ban would take in a whole Olympic cycle."