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EXCERPT | Clinton van der Berg's 'Guns and Needles': The downfall of Luvo Manyonga

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Guns and Needles. (Penguin)
Guns and Needles. (Penguin)

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. Prominent sportswriter Clinton van der Berg in 'Guns and Needles' examines the pitfalls of steroids in many sports people's lives but as the excerpt from his book reveals, the culprit is not always steroids.

Sometimes it is not steroids that derail an athlete’s potential, but a potion of drugs and dependency. Luvo Manyonga is a former world long-jump champion – he ranks thirteenth on the all-time list – and won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. He has the skill and athleticism to be an all-time great. But Luvo has a long history of drug addiction. For years, he has been a frequent user of tik, or crystal methamphetamine, a potent stimulant used recreationally.

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