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In the history of the Olympics, there's never been a controversy quite like what ensued over the 100 meter race at Seoul in 1988. The match brought together Carl Lewis (USA) and Ben Johnson... See full summary »


Daniel Gordon


Daniel Gordon, Nick Packer (as Nicholas Packer)

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Episode credited cast:
Don Catlin Don Catlin ... Himself (as Dr. Don Catlin)
Linford Christie Linford Christie ... Himself
Robson da Silva Robson da Silva ... Himself
Joe Douglas Joe Douglas ... Himself
David Harewood ... Himself - Narrator
John Hoberman John Hoberman ... Himself (as Dr. John Hoberman)
Angella Issajenko Angella Issajenko ... Herself
André Action Jackson André Action Jackson ... Himself
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson ... Himself
Carl Lewis ... Himself
Dennis Mitchell Dennis Mitchell ... Himself
Mary Ormsby Mary Ormsby ... Herself
Dick Pound Dick Pound ... Himself
Calvin Smith Calvin Smith ... Himself
Raymond Stewart Raymond Stewart ... Himself


In the history of the Olympics, there's never been a controversy quite like what ensued over the 100 meter race at Seoul in 1988. The match brought together Carl Lewis (USA) and Ben Johnson (Canada) who had been fierce competitors. Lewis was known as a savvy careerist who became an American hero at the previous Los Angeles Olympics. Johnson was his chief rival, considered an underdog due to his recovery from a pulled hamstring. In less than 10 seconds, Johnson edged out in front of Lewis to win the Seoul race. But that wasn't the end. Three days later, in a reversal of fortune, the Olympic committee announced that Johnson had failed a drug test, losing his medal to Lewis in disgrace. A mystery still shrouds the race. Was Johnson exceptional in his drug usage or merely the fall guy for a widespread practice? Six of the eight finalists in the 1988 race have since been implicated for drugs -- although some still deny any wrongdoing. Filmmaker Daniel Gordon, digs into the controversy, ... Written by ESPN Films

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Release Date:

9 October 2012 (USA) See more »

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Features SportsCenter (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Time Doesn't Quite Heal All Wounds...
17 June 2013 | by drqshadow-reviewsSee all my reviews

This time we're delving into the 1988 Summer Olympics and the much-publicized sprinter's duel between Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis in the 100m final. The film is an oral history of sorts, with interviews from all eight participants in the race, but often devolves into finger-pointing and contradiction. In some respects that's revealing in and of itself - clearly, nobody wants to take any blame for the sad state of affairs that led to such a high-profile blowup, when they're each partially responsible - but in others it's maddeningly frustrating. With their athletic days now long behind them, the only thing many of these former runners have to hold onto is their legacy, and they stomp all over that by slamming Johnson for his positive test, then sheepishly fessing up to their own PED suspensions near the end of the picture. As a historical panorama, this is entertaining - particularly in the build to the race itself - but when the central debate flares up and the runners each begin painting themselves as the victim, nobody's there to hold their feet to the fire.

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