Johnson, Drugs & the Quest for Gold
Narrated by: Kiefer
Directed by: Shel Piercy
Written by: Ken Craw
It was over in a mere 9.79 seconds but that’s all it took
to make Ben Johnson the “fastest man on earth”. That
is, until two days later when the world learned he had tested positive
for steroids. It was the moment that changed the sport of track
and field and the way we view our Olympic sports heroes forever.
With the perspective of fifteen years passed, this hard-hitting
investigative documentary film examines the facts, rumors, accusations
and conspiracy theories behind the steroid scandal that rocked the
1988 Olympics in Seoul, and forever changed the world’s understanding
of steroid use in the high octane, media-driven world of international
It was not enough that Ben Johnson was a genetically
gifted sprinter using innovative techniques to create athletic dynamite;
talent, coaching and hard work alone would not be enough to make
Ben Johnson the “fastest man on earth”. Ben and coach
Charlie Francis knew what the general public did not, a dirty secret
within the structure of elite track and field that the major athletic
organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, had
tacitly condoned to “level the playing field”. To compete
with the best and to continually set new world records, athletes
would have to resort to performance enhancing drugs.
How did he get away with it for eight years,
only to test positive in the biggest competition of his life? Did
someone want him to get caught? How many athletes were drug free?
Evidence shows Ben was not the only one using drugs who placed in
RACE OF THE CENTURY seeks to answer
these questions and exposes the facts about the drug culture in
which elite sport was, and still is, submerged. The film also examines
the various governing bodies, including the IOC, and their role
in ignoring, and sometimes contributing to, the problem of doping.
RACE OF THE CENTURY is shot on digital
betacam, directed by award-winning filmmaker Shel Peircy,
and written by Ken Craw.