Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world


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Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby knockout » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:42 am

I watched a great one hour documentary on the 1988 100m final last week:

You can find it on youtube by searching for "the race that shocked the world documentary"

Some great interviews with the 8 finalists.

A pretty comprehensive account of the whole situation with Ben Johnson and Desai Williams in particular wearing their heart on their sleeve.

Also interesting that that HGH was being used by athletes as early as the 1984 olympics, extracted from dead humans ... I had always assumed this was a 90s phenomenon
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Rog » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:39 pm

I thought it was a great documentary too. Quite sober and realistic about the whole situation.

Carl and his team did not come across well at all. I'm not sure whether they deliberately intended to show that clip of Carl in the 80s with his teeth in braces, soon after the Dr spoke of athletes in the 80s suddenly wearing teeth on their braces because of the new use of Human Growth Hormone, but I thought it was hilarious!

Ben came across well, but in his case he has been stripped of the lies by all the revelations that were revealed about him. Angella Issajenko appeared too, and after recently reading her autobiography, it's great to know that there are at least some people who are totally honest about what they were doing to become a world class athlete.

What struck me was Calvin Smith saying he had no sympathy for Ben. Calvin is one of only two people in that race to have been untainted by accusations of drug use, and if he was clean, think of how he must have felt as all the revelations about the other runners came out over the years.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby John G » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:51 am

Rog wrote:I thought it was a great documentary too. Quite sober and realistic about the whole situation.

Carl and his team did not come across well at all. I'm not sure whether they deliberately intended to show that clip of Carl in the 80s with his teeth in braces, soon after the Dr spoke of athletes in the 80s suddenly wearing teeth on their braces because of the new use of Human Growth Hormone, but I thought it was hilarious!

Ben came across well, but in his case he has been stripped of the lies by all the revelations that were revealed about him. Angella Issajenko appeared too, and after recently reading her autobiography, it's great to know that there are at least some people who are totally honest about what they were doing to become a world class athlete.

What struck me was Calvin Smith saying he had no sympathy for Ben. Calvin is one of only two people in that race to have been untainted by accusations of drug use, and if he was clean, think of how he must have felt as all the revelations about the other runners came out over the years.


ITV interviewed Smith after the Rome '87 race. I'll never forget - he said that "a lot was not known" and "I still consider myself the fastest 100m runner in the world."

IIRC most of the Santa Monica track team took to wearing braces at one point.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby errolM » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:03 am

John G wrote:ITV interviewed Smith after the Rome '87 race. I'll never forget - he said that "a lot was not known" and "I still consider myself the fastest 100m runner in the world."


I think it was the BBC who asked him what he - Smith - thought about Johnson's performance. I'm sure about Smith's answer, which was totally deadpan.

"He's a pretty good runner".
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Jackaloupe » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:30 pm

Carl and his team did not come across well at all.

I take a certain perverse satisfaction in tossing out my little Trivia: How many solo WRs did Carl Lewis win outright? Answer: Zero, as Mike Powell beat him to the LJ record that eluded him--much as 7 feet eluded Ernie Shelton, who foolishly had an actual HJ Bar in his room, thereby making it into a true Fetish--and they should never have ratified the retroactive 100m record (Did they indeed??) for a simple reason..

It's just not the same to be "pulled" to record from behind!
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby mump boy » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:31 am

Jackaloupe wrote:Carl and his team did not come across well at all.

I take a certain perverse satisfaction in tossing out my little Trivia: How many solo WRs did Carl Lewis win outright? Answer: Zero, as Mike Powell beat him to the LJ record that eluded him--much as 7 feet eluded Ernie Shelton, who foolishly had an actual HJ Bar in his room, thereby making it into a true Fetish--and they should never have ratified the retroactive 100m record (Did they indeed??) for a simple reason..

It's just not the same to be "pulled" to record from behind!


Tokyo 1991 9.86 WR
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby John G » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:52 am

errolM wrote:
John G wrote:ITV interviewed Smith after the Rome '87 race. I'll never forget - he said that "a lot was not known" and "I still consider myself the fastest 100m runner in the world."


I think it was the BBC who asked him what he - Smith - thought about Johnson's performance. I'm sure about Smith's answer, which was totally deadpan.

"He's a pretty good runner".


No, there was an ITV interview as well - I had it on tape.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby ed gee » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:00 am

The kindle version of The Dirtiest Race In History is available in the US and might be of interest to some of you. The hardcover is out September 4, 2012.

IMO, worth reading, as is Speed Trap.

http://www.amazon.com/Dirtiest-Race-His ... in+history
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby cladthin » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:59 pm

ed gee wrote:The kindle version of The Dirtiest Race In History is available in the US and might be of interest to some of you. The hardcover is out September 4, 2012.

IMO, worth reading, as is Speed Trap.

http://www.amazon.com/Dirtiest-Race-His ... in+history


Also Angella Issajenko's "Running Risks" as I'm currently in the middle of that one. Speed Trap is an excellent book and now I'm waiting for the release of the "Dirtiest race in history" (in book form) in Sept.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby ed gee » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:34 pm

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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby cladthin » Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:29 pm



Thanks but I don't think that's available in the U.S. until Sept. 4th. According to both sites, they will only ship to Can. or UK addresses. Possibly(?) for more $ they would ship to the U.S.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby ed gee » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:08 pm

They ship to the US...I have ordered from amazon in Canada, UK and Germany for many years.

Many items are less expensive (including s&h) than from the US amazon site.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby cladthin » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:15 pm

ed gee wrote:They ship to the US...I have ordered from amazon in Canada, UK and Germany for many years.

Many items are less expensive (including s&h) than from the US amazon site.


How do you get past the requirement they state that to ship the item, it must be a UK or Can. address?

Edit: I just tried and would not let me ship to the U.S. at least the Canadian site. I then used an alternative address-no luck.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby ed gee » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:01 am

If you order from amazon.co.uk and follow directions, it will work.

I went through all of the steps and had no problem.

Some of the vendors on the site may not ship to the US, but amazon.co.uk will.

Otherwise try the electronic version, bookfinder.com or wait until it is released here.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby gh » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:13 am

John G wrote:...
IIRC most of the Santa Monica track team took to wearing braces at one point.


Which means absolutely nothing other than that for the first time in their life most of them had the wherewithal to have a procedure done that white folk take for granted at a young age.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Per Andersen » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:12 pm

Jackaloupe wrote:--much as 7 feet eluded Ernie Shelton, who foolishly had an actual HJ Bar in his room, thereby making it into a true Fetish--and they should never have ratified the retroactive 100m record (Did they indeed??) for a simple reason..

It's just not the same to be "pulled" to record from behind!

The whole point with Shelton having the bar in his room was that it was on the wall at exactly 7ft.
I see nothing remotely foolish about that.

Why shouldn't Carl have the record? Would he have eased off in Seoul over the last couple of meters without Johnson in the race? It's quite possible that without Johnson Carl could have run 9.91 in that final.
Last edited by Per Andersen on Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby mump boy » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:44 am

gh wrote:
John G wrote:...
IIRC most of the Santa Monica track team took to wearing braces at one point.


Which means absolutely nothing other than that for the first time in their life most of them had the wherewithal to have a procedure done that white folk take for granted at a young age.


While i agree that wearing braces means little, I'm not sure Carl Lewis came from the ghetto and couldn't afford dental care as a child !! or that his teeth needed straightening in the late 80's

http://www.euronews.com/2012/07/25/look ... 1980-1988/
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Rog » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:06 am

By British standards those teeth look pretty straight to me!

Also, by his team's admissioon, Carl was earning a lot of money, I'm sure from the early 80s onward. I'm sure he could have bought those braces in 82 or 83...

The Guy who conducted the tests said that when he retested the samples for substances that weren't tested in 84, there were a fair number of positives. I'd love to know in connection to whom!
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:53 am

Rog wrote:By British standards those teeth look pretty straight to me!


That isn't saying much. :lol:

    In the Spring of 1935 a group of people assembled in , what was then, the offices of the BBC in London.They were a committee formed to advise the Corporation on the correct pronounciation of 'spoken English'. There were 6 or 7 people present, a bishop, a few academics,a scientist ,writers ,etc.

    Two of the people who were there , probably the youngest and the oldest,were Alistair Cooke still in his twenties at that time and already known as a foreign correspondent, English-born and based in the USA,and George Bernard Shaw,in his 79th year,writer,Irish-born,and based in the UK.

    At that time the BBC announcers all spoke with what was called a public-school accent, (public schools for some reason was the definition given to what we would call private schools). but the purpose of the committee was not to define accent but pronounciation. Shaw was described as being irascible in his old age, probably what we would now call an angry old man (Victor Meldrew of 'One Foot in the Grave'fame.) Shaw was chosen as chairman of the committee and of course had the casting vote on pronounciation. Shaw began almost immediatly to maintain that Dublin was the 'only place on earth where one could hear ''pure spoken English''.

    The committee appeared to have had great fun with words such as lieutenant ,which was pronounced on BBC as lefftenant but in the US as loo-tenant, and Marylebone, (Marry'bn) and then there was canine, which all the committee, except Cooke, agreed should be pronounced can-ine, and Cooke said should be pronounced cane-ine as in America. Shaw agreed with Cooke, because his(Shaw's) dentist pronounced it cane-ine. One other of the committee said to Shaw, ''Then your dentist must be American''. To which Shaw replied:''Of course he is, how else do you think I have all my teeth at my age?''

http://celbridgemoaner.blogspot.com/2007/08/acgbs.html
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby shotputter » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:29 pm

IMO, worth reading, as is Speed Trap.

Speed Trap is a must read. It is actually one of the best books on sprinting and coaching out there. I read it five times.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby JRM » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:49 pm

Nicely done documentary. I still applaud the Francis group for coming clean to the Dubin inquiry. They thought they were doing something noble for the sport (well, either that, or they felt they had no option), and if things had worked out differently we might have seen some serious (attempts at) control or reform in the sport. But unfortunately, because of the hard ramifications (political, athletic, and popular) that befell them, they simply taught everyone to deny, deny, deny.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby rsb2 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:07 pm

I haven't watched the documentary yet, but have devoured both of the books mentioned, and I thought they were well worth the read. I also knew most of the folks inside the tent quite well, excluding the Doc. and I watched virtually every minute of the Dubin Inquiry. I agree with those who think that the Sport really didn't choose to learn very much from the Inquiry, perhaps there was too much fear if everyone was outed ? Charlie (rip) was very bright, and made sure he was very well-informed. I have little doubt that he knew most of his athletes were heading out onto a non-level playing field, if they didn't "Enhance", and he couldn't do that. I notice a lot of positive tests lately, and sounds like more to come. Perhaps the testers are finally catching up, but is this really what the IAAF and the governing bodies want ?
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby marknhj » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:45 am

knockout wrote:Also interesting that that HGH was being used by athletes as early as the 1984 olympics, extracted from dead humans ... I had always assumed this was a 90s phenomenon


As I've mentioned before, when I was in Southern California in 1983 I was told by someone who I trust, and who you all know, that the American athletes were taking, "something called growth hormone from dead people", in preparation for the Los Angeles games.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby indigo » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:51 am

gh wrote:
John G wrote:...
IIRC most of the Santa Monica track team took to wearing braces at one point.


Which means absolutely nothing other than that for the first time in their life most of them had the wherewithal to have a procedure done that white folk take for granted at a young age.


Great Point! I have seen a number of entrants into the job market get braces once they earn their first job /money.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby mump boy » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:46 pm

marknhj wrote:
knockout wrote:Also interesting that that HGH was being used by athletes as early as the 1984 olympics, extracted from dead humans ... I had always assumed this was a 90s phenomenon


As I've mentioned before, when I was in Southern California in 1983 I was told by someone who I trust, and who you all know, that the American athletes were taking, "something called growth hormone from dead people", in preparation for the Los Angeles games. Just look at the results.


How dare you suggests such a thing !! we all know our amazing US 80's heroes didn't cheat it was just those nasty commies :lol:
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby steve » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:39 am

mump boy wrote:
marknhj wrote:
knockout wrote:Also interesting that that HGH was being used by athletes as early as the 1984 olympics, extracted from dead humans ... I had always assumed this was a 90s phenomenon


As I've mentioned before, when I was in Southern California in 1983 I was told by someone who I trust, and who you all know, that the American athletes were taking, "something called growth hormone from dead people", in preparation for the Los Angeles games. Just look at the results.


How dare you suggests such a thing !! we all know our amazing US 80's heroes didn't cheat it was just those nasty commies :lol:


So we all know you and Flumpy have it in for those who were caught and served bans returning to competition, but now you also have it in for any American who did well in the 80's despite no evidence of cheating. What's next? The Jamaican's are performing well so you may want to disparage them, not to mention Kenya.

You claim to love the sport. Are you familiar with US Senator McCarthy from the 1950s? He really LOVED America!!
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby Cooter Brown » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:13 am

ESPN's 30 for 30 series will be doing one called "9.79*".

Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPPfYtFE6og&feature=player_embedded
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby JRM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:54 am

Cooter Brown wrote:ESPN's 30 for 30 series will be doing one called "9.79*".

Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPPfYtFE6og&feature=player_embedded


That footage is from the same documentary.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby cullman » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:20 pm

marknhj wrote:
knockout wrote:Also interesting that that HGH was being used by athletes as early as the 1984 olympics, extracted from dead humans ... I had always assumed this was a 90s phenomenon


As I've mentioned before, when I was in Southern California in 1983 I was told by someone who I trust, and who you all know, that the American athletes were taking, "something called growth hormone from dead people", in preparation for the Los Angeles games.

I was in and around the pharmaceutical industry in the 80s and the development of Somatropin, a recombinant growth hormone which allowed for more production...still there were shortages in Southern California at that time.

cman
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby eldanielfire » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:44 pm

Cool.
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Re: Ben Johnson and Co : The race that shocked the world

Postby bambam » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:27 pm

shotputter wrote:
IMO, worth reading, as is Speed Trap.

Speed Trap is a must read. It is actually one of the best books on sprinting and coaching out there. I read it five times.


I don't care how good it was - you must need more to do.
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