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Night Olympic Team, The

Ages: 13 and up
Pages: 56
List Price: $17.95
Cover: Hardcover
Published: 5/1/2008
ISBN: 1-59078-566-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-566-9
A team of scientists works to expose athletes who use banned drugs to win Olympic medals. Here is the true, inside story of the UCLA Olympic Laboratory—the drugdetection team that tests athletes for banned performance-enhancing drugs. The scientists worked long nights to detect a new, never-before-tested performance-enhancing drug called NESP (novel erythropoietic stimulating protein) during the 19th Winter Olympics (2002) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The group’s work exposed three NESP users among the winning cross-country skiers. The drug users were stripped of their medals, which were then given to the rightful winners.

Reviews

"Hatton—a scientist who has worked in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Olympic Lab—recounts the discovery of extensive doping during the 2002 Winter Olympics. ... In this book geared toward adolescents, Hatton relays the science and politics behind the trials of science sleuths who catch sports cheats."
     —Science News

"Hatton does a creditable job of explaining the chemical alphabet-soup jargon of drugs and drug-testing, abetted by a design that features short chapters and fact boxes that both flesh out the story's details and offer supplementary facts about doping. Along the way, she makes a strong case for the importance to both health and integrity for the stringent treatment of offenders. Readers will certainly understand one of the more complicated subtexts of the upcoming Olympics much better after spending some time with this slim, readable offering."
     —Kirkus Reviews

"A concise, readable account of a group of scientists who are working to detect forbidden drug use in sports. ...Hatton’s approach to the issues raised by the use of performance-enhancing drugs is fair-minded and kid-friendly. When considering why athletes cheat, she observes: “A gold medal might make an athlete a national hero or lead to fabulous wealth. Some athletes feel too much pressure to win from fans, loved ones, or even themselves." Teachers and young readers will appreciate Hatton’s personable manner and her keen perspective on this timely subject."
     —School Library Journal

"A new book every baseball writer and broadcaster should read. ...Caroline Hatton's The Night Olympic Team is a good primer for everyone who writes about the use of performance-enhancing drugs, even those of us who laughed as the country celebrated the Sosas and McGwires and Clemens and Palmeiros. The glossary alone is worth the $17.95 price of the book, which seeks to inform kids about the mental, ethical and physical perils of doping."
     —Chicago Tribune

Kirkus Reviews takes a look at Caroline Hatton's The Night Olympic Team in the May 1, 2008 issue:

“Hatton does a creditable job of explaining the chemical alphabet-soup jargon of drugs and drug-testing, abetted by a design that features short chapters and fact boxes that both flesh out the story's details and offer supplementary facts about doping. Along the way, she makes a strong case for the importance to both health and integrity for the stringent treatment of offenders. Readers will certainly understand one of the more complicated subtexts of the upcoming Olympics much better after spending some time with this slim, readable offering."