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This review is from: The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final (Wisden Sports Writing): Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the Olympic 100m Final (Hardcover)
During London 2012 my interest in the men's 100 metre final switched on again - as it does during every Olympic Games. This time round I wanted to read something about the recent history of the event and came across this book. It describes what is perhaps the most controversial race ever. Like most, I had only casually listened to the news when Ben Johnson was stripped of his medal.
I wanted to know the full story and that is why I bought this book.
It is written is a very readable style. It provides the reader with the facts and leaves you to draw your own conclusions about what may have really happened! It is a real eye opener. Amongst other things, this book examines the rivalry between Johnson and Carl Lewis in great detail. It considers their respective backgrounds, coaching and such like before building up to how they both came face to face in Seoul 1988.
I do not want to spoil your read, but can say that if anyone were to ask me now what I thought of Ben Johnson, I would say that steroids do not make champions. A champion is a champion due to their relentless hard work - year in, year out. Unfortunately, the use of steroids has infiltrated 'amateur' sports due to the massive sums of money that athletes can get from commercial sponsors: Everyone wants to be the best. Everyone wants to win. Viewed in this context, is it at all surprising that the top athletes and their coaches will want to surpass normal human limitations by using performance enhancing drugs? I am firmly of the view that Ben Johnson was not alone and indeed may have been set up - though like I say, the author does not promote conspiracy theories - he just presents the facts in a most brilliant objective manner.
This book has a nice hard cover and comes at a very reasonable price. I read it over a weekend and found it difficult to put down. I would recommend it to everyone interested in sport or even to those just interested in modern world changing news events.
Well done by the author Richard Moore.