To be a world-class athlete you need the genetics; choose your parents carefully. This potential, however, means nothing until you do the work. Not weeks, not years, but a decade of hard work. It takes less time to train as a brain surgeon than it does to be a world-class distance runner.

At the top level, doping makes a difference, but a small one. It puts you ahead by a few years. Ben Johnson’s times have been surpassed. Carmelita Jeter is running faster than Marion Jones did and is closing in on Florence Griffith Joyner’s records. The Ethiopian women are approaching the Chinese distance records of the 1990s.

Usain Bolt, who ran world-class 200-metre times at the age of 15, is accused of coming from nowhere. Lance Armstrong, who has put his blood profiles up on the internet, has been accused of doping because there is too little change in his profile over the course of a stage race…..Read More

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