Why We Question The Greatest Olympic Event

The biggest moment of their careers coincide with the greatest 10 seconds we'll ever witness.

As one of the Summer Olympics’ marquee events, the men’s 100-meter final makes up 10 of the most watched seconds in sport. Every four years, millions of people drop everything and huddle around televisions to watch eight of the most freakishly gifted athletes on Earth compete for the title of “world’s fastest man”. Rooms fall silent at the sound of the starter’s gun. Jaws are left ajar at the sheer power of the start. Breaths are hurried as the world sees these superhuman men push the limits of the human body to its absolute capacity.

But what happens when they push the limits of the human body chemically before the race? How does the world react to the results before their eyes, knowing that some of the runners, and many past champions, have their results tainted by performance-enhancing drugs?

This weeks episode of Roll The Tape take a look at the last 30 years of the Olympic Men’s 100-metre finals, and how the world’s view of the races have changed with PEDs. From all-time races like the 1988 finals to world record times from Donovan Bailey and Usain Bolt… and a whole lot of failed drug tests in between… Afi and Kyle look back at how the world has viewed these races in a PED-focused world.

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Show Notes
  • The grandeur of the men’s 100m Sprint  [2:44]
  • The 1988 ‘Dirtiest Race in History’ [4:12]
  • 1992 becomes the slowest race since in 30 years [10:50]
  • A star-studded race reignites the world’s interest in 1996 [12:04]
  • The dominance of Donovan Bailey’s 9.84 [17:30]
  • What to do about performance-enhancing drugs? [19:00]
  • 2000/2004 - the forgotten races [32:14]
  • Why do American sprinters use PEDs at such a high rate? [34:27]
  • How come no one questions Usain Bolt (The rise of Usain) [41:11]
  • Hot Take Corner [52:00]
Notable Mentions

Donovan Bailey | Usain Bolt | Ben Johnson | Carl Lewis | Linford Christie | Tyson Gay | Justin Gatlin | USATF

Additional Reading

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