The errors in question involve track and field star Gail Devers, who was mistakenly described as having trained with admitted steroid distributor Remi Korchemny. To quote the book, "Among his greatest Olympians was Gail Devers. ... But for injuries, she would have competed in five different Summer Games." The book also says that she presented him with a plaque reading THE GREATEST TRACK COACH OF ALL TIME at his 2002 70th birthday party. In actuality, Devers never trained with Korchemny, and didn't attend the party or pass out any plaques. And, oh yeah, she actually compete in 5 Olympic Games (despite her struggle with debilitating chronic illness Graves Disease). Which means that authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams didn't just make a damaging implication about an American sports heroine, they made a damaging implication about an American sports heroine who triumphed in the face of a serious immune disorder. Nice.
The misinformation on her party attendance first appeared in American Track and Field magazine, which Devers was unaware of due to her avoidance of her own press. In fact, she says she never paid any attention to the BALCO scandal until her husband, who was reading "Game of Shadows", discovered mention of her in the "Cheat or Lose" section. Ouch!
Devers has requested a public apology and press release regarding the error, which publishers assert will be corrected in next March's paperback edition.
The authors "acknowledge that Devers was included by mistake and regret the error", describing it as an "innocent mistake". They also say that Devers is overreacting, and point out that they never accused her of using performance-enhancing drugs or implied that she did.
We were kind of sympathetic until that last part -- lord knows we here at SFist f**k up all the damn time, but when we do, we're a little straighter about admitting it. Asserting that "one of (the) greatest Olympians" was trained by someone known to give steroids to his athletes seems, to us, to be a clear example of the guilt "by association or implication" to which Devers is reacting, and their response seems disingenuous ("What? We didn't say nuthin'!"), at best.did