Guns and Needles

Clinton van der Berg

Format  paperback

Published  22 February 2022

ISBN  9781776096619

SKU: 9781776096619 Categories: ,


South Africa revels in its reputation as a sport-loving country. Yet just beneath the surface lurks a dark underbelly that reeks of cheating and illicit shenanigans, where shady characters and willing athletes are prepared to do whatever it takes to come out on top. South African sport is awash with steroids, a habit that formed in the late 1980s and continues unabated today, with participants and champions alike opting to play dirty. Guns and Needles infiltrates an extraordinary environment that includes the story of the youngest athlete, who happens to be a South African, to ever test positive. With doping numbers far higher than the international average, prominent sportswriter Clinton van der Berg probes why this is so. Many of the stories have never been told, including that of the death of a young rugby aspirant and the bodybuilder who talks candidly of his thirty-year odyssey with steroids. Guns and Needles also unmasks the rampant level of steroid use in schoolboy rugby and the prominent busts at senior and Springbok level, while examining the murky steroid underworld and related deaths, as well as the doping culture in boxing, athletics and other sports. This is a gripping read filled with drama, tragedy and scarcely believable stories.