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"Cheating is a large part of life," writes veteran sportswriter Zimniuch in his preface. "It's only natural that it should extend to sports." Not only is cheating prevalent in every level of athletics (overage pitcher Danny Almonte dominating the 2001 Little League World Series; Rosie Ruiz Vivas taking the subway to win the 1980 Boston marathon)-it has a rich history, dating back at least to the ancient Olympics in 388 B.C., when the boxer Eupolus bribed three opponents to take a dive. Though bribery, dirty play and spying are part of the story, cheating has taken a dangerous turn in recent years, namely the alarming revelations of athletes using performance-enhancing drugs and steroids, a practice that has made its way to high school athletics. Given the recent barrage of attention directed at baseball star Alex Rodriguez for his confession of steroid use, Zimniuch's book is certainly relevant. However, the concept of cheating and its culture has many shades of gray, and when not editorializing or dabbling in clichés, Zimniuch offers little more than a summary of past transgressions and sneaky tricks. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cheating in sports is, unfortunately, a timely topic. In this book, the author provides an anecdotal survey of various types of dishonesty that have gone on since the time of the Olympics in ancient Greece. In his review of athletic fraudulence, Zimniuch looks somewhat benevolently on types of cheating that are relatively harmless and to be expected in competitive outlets such as working the officials in hockey, sign stealing in baseball, or even the infamous New England Patriots' Spygate episode of signal taping in pro football. By contrast, he rightly stresses how gambling has led to intermittent major scandals that have threatened the integrity of Major League Baseball (1919), pro football (1946), college basketball (1951), and pro basketball (2008). The largest section of the book is devoted to the pernicious effects that doping and steroid use by athletes have had on contemporary sports. All of this material is very well researched and written. When the author strays into how cheating in sports interrelates with the ethics of society at large, the book's momentum dwindles, but, all in all, it's a recommended title on a subject certainly of current interest.
Posted February 24, 2010
Given all the negative press in the modern era with regards to cheating, this work was informative and historial in its content. Good interviews with Victor Conte and other persons of imprtance make this an essestial work. I happen to think that the PATRIOTS Spygate was major cheating even if the author does not.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.