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Race Against Me: My Story [Paperback]

Dwain Chambers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Jun 2009
In January 2002 the athlete Dwain Chambers made a serious error of judgement when he succumbed to peer pressure and temptation and took a performance enhancing substance. The inevitable bust, when it happened, came almost as a relief. Nevertheless it would turn his life upside down. Chambers came clean, held up his hands and unburdened himself of the guilt he d been carrying for so long. His income fell from six figures per annum to nil and he had to repay 18 months of athletics prize money when he freely admitted the timescale of his abuse. A two-year competition ban was imposed and a lifetime ban from the Olympics. He fought the two-year ban as the drug he took was not actually on a banned list at the time of his offence. Despite the experts advising him otherwise he lost the case, needing to sell his house in order to pay the costs. He then made the decision to rebuild his athletics career and his life and decided to fight the British Olympic Association attempting to overturn his lifetime Olympic ban. Some would say it was yet another error of bad judgement taking on The Establishment . For five years Dwain Chambers has been abused and vilified by the BOA, the media and his fellow athletes past and present, he has been called a cheating bastard in a radio interview and a prominent Lord has used the F word when referring to him. Lord Sebastian Coe, Lord Colin Moynihan, Daley Thompson, Steve Cram, Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes are just a few of the high profile names who have ensured a tirade of negative publicity during and leading up to one most high profile hearings in British sporting history. Once again Dwain Chambers placed his faith in British justice. Two of his legal acquaintances Jonathan Crystal and Nick Collins agreed to work for free, such was their belief in their client s right to run. The BOA, by their own admissions were not particularly well off, nevertheless they wheeled in David Pannick QC, arguably Britain's pre-eminent brief on sporting matters, whose hourly rate of up to £1,500 puts him at the very top of the pile of legal earners. The Lawyer magazine estimates he commands an annual income in excess of £2m. Chambers lost his case. He sat and watched the Beijing Olympics at home. Dwain Chambers has kept a diary for five years, now it s his turn to talk. His treatment by certain individuals, who are far from perfect themselves, and in particular by the BOA have sickened him to the core. The lies and double standards are evident in RACE AGAINST ME as Chambers pours his heart out and exposes the real cheats in the world of athletics. RACE AGAINST ME is a book that will shake UK and world athletics to the core written by a man who tells it how it is.

Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Libros International (10 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905988788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905988785
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars honest and insightful 11 Aug 2009
I've always been intrigued with Chambers' story and why he felt the need to do what he did, he's like the marmite of athletics, you love him or you hate him, personally i have a lot of respect for the way he has admitted his wrong doings and served his ban to come back as arguably the best british sprinter. He needs to be given another chance instead of being used as some sort of scapegoat and bad example of UK Athletics cutting off its nose to spite its own face.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For some time I wanted to get hold of this book, as it has long been out of stock on Amazon (sort it out, fellas!) - I did eventually get it of course and I was not disappointed. For anyone who holds the belief that athletes who use drugs are the minority, reading even a third of this book will blow those perceptions out of the water.

I have read several athlete's biographies, and most give an obligatory mention or idealistic speech on drugs within the sport. I knew, based on Dwain's full and frank admissions around the time of his positive test, that this book would delve fully into the greedy, organised, and ultimately pitiful world of performancing enhancing 'pharmacology'.

The book doesn't waste much time in getting to Chambers' period of running under the influence. I was startled - and gripped - on many occasions by how honest and detailed Chambers was in explaining not only his own drug use, but the involvement of both Victor Conte and his Ukranian coach, and other athletes participation in the BALCO-produced supplements. It was alarming to see just what Chambers and others were taking, combined with the regimen involved, and the levels of consumption. Chambers also reveals side-effects, and how one can spot drug-users by their physique (more detailed than it sounds), their ailments and most sickeningly of all, their tricks to avoid random testing out-of-competition. The book also clearly puts to bed the common misconceptions of drug use - most notably, that the bulk of ingestion is not done within competitive events but actually during the off-season (when testing is at it's least vigilant - or at least this was the case in 2009), and the distinction between drugs that enhance training and stamina with those used as stimulants.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very readable. 14 Dec 2011
I wasn't particularly interested in the subject matter... but I'm glad I read it nonetheless. Less of an autobiography, more of a moment by moment action diary about the heart of the controversy. It had to be said, and it's been done clearly and effectively. Outside of the issue though, I found it somewhat less informative than I would have preferred. The lad has a great writing style though, which ultimately makes it a pleasure to read.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating insight into the dirty world of athletics which " the establishment" are trying so very hard to suppress, thereby shooting themselves spectacularly in the foot.
Chambers writes surprisingly well, the style is fresh and immediate and it makes compulsive reading. Chambers' brutal honesty is sometimes too raw - the rose-tinted spectacles are torn from your face, as the underlying hypocrisy of his relentless flagellation emerges like pus oozing from an open sore. It is easy to see why Chambers is emerging as an anti-hero and why the mealy-mouthed "drug cheat" platitudes of Cram et al are falling largely on deaf ears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good analysis of modern sport 24 Jun 2009
Its unusual for a sportsman to offer any honest assessment of sport,Im sure he's not being 100% honest about what goes on and what he did but he's 100% more honest than the rest of the sporting world.He suspects most of the other winning athletes were doing the same and it a certainty they are. Its also well written and you do get a sense of what drives top class athletes to do anything they can to get even the smallest advantage. A definate eye opener.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting. 5 April 2009
A compelling read. Dwain's documentation of his drug use is hard to read but is a page turner neverthless.

Dwain tells it like it is and his frank and honest dialogue is refreshing. His discussion of "The Establishment" is certainly an eye opener, an organisation which seemingly chooses when to turn a blind eye and when not to. Before reading this book I felt that Dwain had ben used as a scapgoat and after reading it my opinion has not changed. Yes Dwain cheated, yes Dwain was so very foolish yes his drug use reflected badly on the sport and yes he deserved his punishment. As a long time athletics fan I for one was gutted when the story broke but this book has helped give me some insight into his mindset at the time. Dwain doesn't make excuses he just tells you why he succumbed to the ultimate temptation.

Dwain's continued vilification however I feel isn't appropriate and is in stark contrast to the treatmet of another athlete who to was guilty of drug use, has also served a two year ban but who has been seemingly welcome back into the GB team. Commentators that have blasted Dwain have been conspicous in their comments about this other athlete - why?

I for one was pleased when he qualified for the world indoors and went on to win.

A must read for true athletics fans.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Loaded' Guns! 9 Oct 2010
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heels that crushed it"

(Mark Twain,' The Great American Novel')

When the Indian matchfixer was exposed by the News of the World you could imagine the rush for current serving professional cricketers to quickly became `no longer friends' with Mazhar Majeed on their facebook accounts, which is exactly what happened to Dwain Chambers when he got the call he had been caught taking performance enhancing drugs. His so-called friends and fellow athletes turned their back on him after he tested positive and Dwain even claims to have thought about suicide. American Antonio Pettigrew did take his own life through shame and depression after receiving a life ban for drugs. No athletes want to be seen sympathising with the sports devil.

`Race against Me', as the ambiguous title suggests, has more than one message to expunge from its controversial author and so the book a good read and the expected hot potato. Dwain Chambers is not only angry with the world because he got caught but because others haven't been caught, and many protected by their athletics federations, meaning Dwain had to take drugs to make the big podiums at the Olympics and the Worlds, where the big paycheques are and the sports biggest problem right now. If the athletes don't break records or perform amazing feats then the crowds don't come and the sponsorship dries up. Dwain could either be the fastest `clean' athlete in the world and earn a decent living on bronze and silver and join Colin Jackson and Steve Cram as a pundit or in the commentary box where he retiree or cheat and chase Olympic and World Gold and all the glory and millions that's come with that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Dwain!
Well written and heart felt account of a man that deserves to be left alone to get on with his life.
Published 15 days ago by Nick McKinless
5.0 out of 5 stars Race against me or Race for Justice!
I could not put this book down.
As someone that enjoys watching athletics especially sprint runners I was interested in reading this. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marge S
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Would recommend to anyone interested in athletics and sport in general. Well written and hard to put down. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Aussie
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm still 50/50
I wanted to hear dwains voice and his book does do that, you hear his side. Lots of facts in this book, some very interesting. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cheryl Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
A very honest detailed autobiography of a man they never forgave. Good on you Dwain, good book and good read
Published 13 months ago by Jambro
5.0 out of 5 stars A Frank and honest opinion
A friend recommended I read this book and after the 2012 Olympics I decided to purchase this book. Even tho' I have followed athletes' careers over years of Olympics and was aware... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Ms. B. A. Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Open & Clean
This an Excellent Book. Open and Honest.

There used to be a time (probably not so long ago in the grand scheme of things) where sport was and seemed enjoyable to those... Read more
Published on 29 April 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I never read autobiographies, but being an athlete I thought I'd read this. I'm glad I did, I went through different emotions reading about Dwains story. Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2011 by Rachel92
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Autobiography
I recently read this book and was amazed by how good it is.
This is worth a read for anybody even slightly interested in sport. Read more
Published on 18 April 2011 by Ra Haswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!
Ok firstly I am a bit behind reading this book- might watch this new film called the titanic next week!! A very unusually honest book- says things as they are. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2011 by Julz10
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