Men’s Journal spoke with Mark Johnson about the truth behind performance-enhancing drugs, and what it will take for elite athletes to come clean.
Mark Johnson has written a story for the Washington Post offering a historical perspective on the International Olympic Committee decision on Russian doping.
Mark Johnson says that allowing athletes to use any and all performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics isn’t any more crazy than what comes from the current system in place.
Mark Johnson says that doping culture has persisted despite nearly 50 years of efforts to weed it out.
CBC Interviews Mark Johnson: Should Russia be banned from the Olympics following McLaren doping report?
Is there some level of hypocrisy in our official expectation of drug-free games?
In Spitting in the Soup, sports journalist Mark Johnson explores how the deals made behind closed doors keep drugs in sports.
The morning of August 30, 1904, dawned hot and humid in St. Louis, Missouri. The United States was hosting its first Olympic Games, and it was as if an oppressive blanket had been lowered over the Mississippi River town for a signature event, the marathon. Fourteen miles into the race, runner Charles Hicks—British-born but representing the United States—doubled over on the side of a road in what a reporter called “sweltering heat and clouds of dust.”
Take a look at Spitting in the Soup, one chapter at a time.
In one day, public perception of doping changed from a professional expectation to a dangerous, bad practice. Why? It was shoddy medical records and sloppy media coverage of a cyclist’s death by heatstroke at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Half of Americans take dietary supplements, yet the industry is protected from federal food and drug safety regulation by Sen. Orrin Hatch and others despite studies that show supplements are often mislabeled or tainted with huge doses of doping agents. The U.S. Olympic Committee was caught up in this soup during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
Mark Johnson joins Worldview to talk about the origins of doping in sports and the implications of a total Russian ban at this summer’s Olympics.
Society holds athletes to a strange double-standard when it comes to drugs and performance. “We have completely normalized doping in everyday American life,” says Mark Johnson.
Mark Johnson asks and answers such questions as: How, why, and when did we become so indignant and disgusted with athletic doping? What does it say about us and our society as a whole? How have these attitudes shifted over time? And, are you certain we as a society aren’t somewhat complicit?
Argyle Armada author Mark Johnson has spent the last two years researching and writing a comprehensive look at doping, called “Spitting in the Soup,” published by VeloPress. Red Kite Prayer has been hearing about this book for a good year and has eagerly awaited its release.
The amateur ethos that still informs the Olympic sports runs counter to the very nature of sport, which demands high performance. The increasing commercialization of sports intensifies this tension—and the insidious temptation of corruption. The spirit of sport is a recent WADA invention, not an inherent quality of sport—but it’s still worth the aspiration.
EPO deaths made for good news stories, even if there was no autopsy evidence that EPO was actually killing cyclists.
Spitting in the Soup details how doping is much more than a problem of corrupt individual athletes. Doping Correspondent John Oliver from Last Week Tonight agrees.