Inside the Five Ring Circus

Inside the Five Ring Circus

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"Inside the Five Ring Circus," Ollan Cassell's memoir about his years as an athlete and his subsequent career as a sports executive, provides insight into the tumultuous evolution of global sports. A national track champion in the 200m and 400m, Cassell won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Soon afterward, he launched a career as a sports executive with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). He later became head of USA Track & Field and a major figure in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the sport's world governing body. Cassell's achievements spanned 40 years from 1960 - 2000, and along the way, he blazed trails that other sports federations would follow. </p>

Here is the real story of the Olympic shift from 'shamateurism' to professionalism; of the high stakes USA-USSR Cold War confrontations; and the battles over performance-enhancing drugs. From Bob Hayes to Frank Shorter, Carl Lewis, Butch Reynolds, Michael Johnson, Mary Slaney, Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Florence Griffith Joyner and many more, Cassell played a key behind-the-scenes role.

Elliott Denman, Pete Cava, Jim Ferstle, and Dan O'Brien contributed to this story of a man who did it all, saw it all, and helped to change it all.