Lewis pleads innocent to drunken driving charge

LOS ANGELES: Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis pleaded innocent on Tuesday to a misdemeanour drunken driving charge stemming from a freeway crash in a Maserati in April. 

The US athletics legend did not appear at the Metropolitan Branch Courthouse near downtown Los Angeles, and his lawyer, Mark Rafferty, entered the plea. 

The case is due back in court on Sept 16 for a pre-trial hearing.        

“Hopefully, we may be able to reach a disposition,” Rafferty told reporters.  

The charge stems from Lewis' April 21 arrest by the California Highway Patrol, after he allegedly lost control of his car in the early hours of the morning on a freeway south of downtown Los Angeles. 

Lewis was not injured, but failed a series of field sobriety tests, officer Joseph Pace said at the time. 

The 41-year-old had a glittering athletics career that spanned two decades and included Olympic gold medals in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics. 

He is one of three athletes ever to win gold in a single event (long jump) four times. – AFP 

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