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Beyond Alex Rodriguez: David Epstein Picks the 8 Best Longreads on Doping in Sports

• August 21, 2013 • 2:05 PM

Rodriguez playing for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' AA affiliate, in 2013. (PHOTO: GBRUNETT/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

From Outside, Sports Illustrated, and other publications.

We know, we know. Enough already. But as baroquely banal as Alex Rodriguez’s saga with performance enhancing drugs has become, the subject of sports and drugs is a serious and, it seems, eternal issue.

We asked David Epstein—new ProPublican, acclaimed author of The Sports Gene and expert on matters of science and sports—to list some memorable reads on the issue of performance enhancing drug:

What You Don’t Know Might Kill You, Sports Illustrated, May 2009
This is my favorite story on supplements that I was involved with. (And it was introduced into the congressional record.)

I Couldn’t Be More Positive, Outside, May 2011
A great story in which a journalist and amateur cyclist use drugs for a year.

The Fastest Man in the Prison Yard, ESPN, September 2009
I think this is about as interesting as athlete confessions get.

The Godfather, Sports Illustrated, March 2008
This was about a guy who sabotaged a study and made the medical community say that steroids don’t work.

In Chase for Wins, a Runner Cheats, New York Times, October 2012
I like this one, just in terms of helping convince people that this is for lower level athletes too.

Who Knew, ESPN Magazine, November 2005
An ambitious look at the history of steroids in baseball.

The Secret Race” and “Game of Shadows
Both these books were both game changers. Here’s an excerpt from Game of Shadows.


This post originally appeared on ProPublica, a Pacific Standard partner site.

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