Former Olympian Michael Johnson attends Nike’s 2012 Debut of Team USA Apparel on June 14, 2012 in New York City

*Former Olympic hero Michael Johnson has waded into the controversy of whether athletes have an inherited advantage based on race.

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One of the greatest 200 and 400 meter runners in history, and now an analyst for the BBC, Johnson says certain runners will be out front at the London Olympics.

“Over the last few years, athletes of Afro- Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals,” Johnson told Sally Beck of the Daily Mail in London. “It’s a fact that hasn’t been discussed openly before. It’s a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn’t we discuss it?”

Johnson, who won five Olympic gold medals, added that “all my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations. Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.”