Usain Bolt edged out two-time former doper Justin Gatlin to claim the 100m crown at the World Championships in Moscow on Sunday night.
The Jamaican was given a scare by his American rival before pulling clear to clock 9.77 seconds, with Gatlin taking silver in 9.85secs.
Victory for Gatlin, who returned for a four-year ban in 2010, over the sport's best-loved figure would have been led to more questions about the credibility of the blue-riband event, given the beating it has taken following the failed tests by Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell.
Greene, who won Olympic gold in 2000, said: "It thought it was a great race, it was very competitive and that's what this sport needed.
"I thought Bolt would get it, but I knew Justin would challenge him a little bit.
"It was (good to get people smiling), it's always good to bring it back a little bit, to make something exciting.
"The race itself did that, it was a competitive race. Everybody was wondering what was going to happen.
"You can't necessarily think about what's happened in the past, we've got to move forward and forget about the past."
That is far easier said than done, though, especially given the high profile of Gay and Powell and the fact the news of their failed tests broke of the same night.
"It's hurtful," said Greene, the former world record holder who also won three world 100m titles.
"Every time anything like that is brought into our sport it's hurtful to the sport.
"I was hurt. It's just a bad situation what has happened in the last month."
Greene insisted, though, that it was unfair to pin all hopes for a brighter future for the sport on Bolt.
"Everybody's trying to put it all on Usain and it's not all on Usain," he said. "We have more stars than just one.
"Of course there's something special about him, he's a unique individual, he's done things that no man has ever done before.
"That's great, but you can't put all eyes on him, because he only runs two races."
His next one comes in the heats of the 200m on Friday morning, with the 4x100m relay on the final day of competition on Sunday.
Two more golds will take his tally of Olympic and world titles to 14 and Greene has no doubt about the outcomes.
"He'll win both," he said.