Toronto Star’s Randy Starkman dead at 51

    April 16, 2012

    “Cross Country Canada offers condolences to friends and family of Randy Starkman. His dedication to covering amateur sport was unparalleled and his understanding of cross-country skiing has contributed to the success of our athletes and the growth of our sport. He will be missed.”
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    Randy Starkman, Canada’s premier amateur athletics journalist, has died.

    The two-time National Newspaper Award winner, who exposed sprinter Ben Johnson’s second positive steroid test in 1993, and covered 12 Olympic Games, passed away Monday at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

    A silent newsroom greeted the news that they had lost a friend and a cherished, admired colleague at age 51.

    Starkman took ill after returning from Montreal, where he covered Canada’s Olympic swimming trials. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and was admitted to hospital last week. He spent several days in intensive care.

    “He’s just one of a kind in our world,” said Mark Tewksbury, a gold medallist in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona and Canada’s chef de mission for the London Olympics this summer.

    “There was no bigger advocate for Olympic sports, Olympic athletes than Randy.

    “There’s now just a huge void.”...