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Michael Johnson makes his living by telling people where they went wrong.

Whether it be as one of the most respected pundits at BBC Sport or at his Michael Johnson Performance centres, analysing the minute details of an athlete’s performance pays the American’s bills. 

It is particularly cruel, therefore, that he faces the future with no such clarity about his health.

Four months ago Olympic sprinting great Johnson had a stroke.

It was a mini stroke from which the 51-year-old has made a miraculous recovery – he is already spending his days paddle-boarding, rowing, cycling and running.

But despite multiple tests and analysis from doctors, he admits he is living in fear because of one nagging question – why?

“We’ve sort of concluded that we’ll probably never find that cause,” Johnson tells BBC Sport.

“It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with. If I knew what the cause was, I could potentially do something about it and feel much better knowing that this is what caused it and now I have eliminated that potential issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury.

“Obviously that could create a little bit of fear, that I was doing all the right things before the stroke and now am doing all the right things again, even more. Yet it could happen again.”

Fear of the unknown is not the only scary concept Johnson has had to face in recent months. He has also had to embrace a completely alien emotion – vulnerability.

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Over a glittering career during which he won four Olympic golds, and set world records in the 200m and 400m, Johnson was happy to talk the talk and walk the walk.

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