Speed Trap: Inside the Biggest Scandal in Olympic History

Charlie Francis, Author, Jeff Coplon, With St. Martin's Press $18.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-312-04877-8
Francis coached Ben Johnson, the Canadian who set a record in the 100-meter run in the 1988 Olympics, then lost his gold medal when he was found guilty of using drugs. Writing with freelancer Coplon, Francis argues that, as a trainer of world-class athletes, he had no choice but to give his runners steroids, testosterone and similar substances because perhaps 80% of track and field stars rely on drugs to enhance their performances: ``If you don't take it, you won't make it.'' The authors are at their most effective in exposing the hypocrisy of those who control this sport, constantly demanding new records to grab TV money and publicly preaching a say-no-to-drugs line while winking at violations by the big powers--the U.S., the U.S.S.R. and East Germany. Well worth a read. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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