Olympic Question of the Day - Macleans.ca

Olympic Question of the Day

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I remember when Ben Johnson ran 9.79 with his fist in the air for the last few metres, and after it was discovered that he had been marinating in stanozolol for years a number of armchair skeptics said they knew it all along, since it was simply impossible for a man to run that fast without steroidal enhancements.

I’m pretty sure Usain Bolt is clean — he just doesn’t look juiced — but Kit Collins asked a good question today: “How fast can you go before the world record can’t be broke? How fast can the human being go before there’s no more going fast?”

As many have noted, his record in the 200 is almost more incredible, given that no one other than Johnson had run under 19.62. But more interesting still might be the state of women’s sprinting. FloJo has the record of 10.49, but she was clearly on steroids. The next fastest time is Marion Jones’ 10.65, set at altitude (and probably on steroids as well). Next after that is Christine Arron’s 10.73, and rounding out the top ten, the fastest times are all grouped in the mid- to high- 10.7s

If we take Arron as the fastest clean time, she’s nearly a quarter second slower than FloJo over 100 meters, and no clean women are coming anywhere close. Regardless of how fast Bolt might go (and I think he could do a 9.55), it is looking like, at least as far as the women are concerned, there’s no more going fast.

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