Ben Johnson, Drugs & the Quest for Gold

Narrated by: Kiefer Sutherland
Directed by:
Shel Piercy
Written by:
Ken Craw

Full Synopsis:
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 sports competition.

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 that race.

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.