I finally got around to watching ESPN Films 30 for 30: 9.79 and I have three quick responses. One, I was surprised at how sympathetic Ben Johnson comes across. He shows regret, is appropriately contrite, and doesn’t try to rationalize or make excuses for his steroid use. Second, I was surprised at how poorly Carl Lewis comes across. He seems unlikable and vain: more concerned with his image than anything else. Lastly, the movie nibbles around and all but accuses Lewis of having doped. For example, there is a clip of a doctor discussing how many HGH uses need adult braces because their jaw grows. About ten minutes later there is a clear shot of Lewis with braces. The film also has several interviews with Lewis competitors that suggest Lewis doped.
This documentary doesn’t answer the question of whether or not Lewis doped or not, nor does it suggest any resolutions to PED issues. But it is a thought-provoking look at the runners of the 1988 Olympic 100m and how PEDs affected the sport and the athletes.