It's always a controversial subject to bring up but with the Olympics looming over us this is the best time to ask the question: 'Why are all the best sprinters black American and Caribbean?'
American 200m and 400m Olympic Champion Michael Johnson thinks he may have the answer and it is all down to a 'superior athletic gene' in the genetic make-up of black athletes.
In his Channel 4 documentary, Survival of the Fastest, Johnson set out a case based on the idea that only the strongest and fittest survived the horrors of the slave trade.
His theory is that the gruelling walks across the continent to the waiting ship in the African ports would account for the weakest and feeblest and up to six months aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic would leave only the strongest and fittest when the ships arrived at their last port of in places like Jamaica. During one voyage to Jamaica in 1732, 170 slaves boarded the ship and only six got off.
Immediately your mind wonders if this was the case then why are no West Africans contesting the sprint finals but Johnson explains this by going on to explain how the tallest, strongest and hardiest were forced into breeding, like cattle, to produce a new generation of strong slaves.
Johnson, who undertook a DNA test during the documentary which confirmed he is of West African descent, pointed to the 2008 Olympic 100m final where of the eight finalists, three were Jamaicans, two came from Trinidad and Tobago, two were Afro-American and one, representing the Netherlands,
was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
Johnson's theory is backed up by Australian scientists who discovered that a gene named ACTN3 gave performance advantage to the muscles, providing extra power to muscle cells that are required for fast, short bursts of action and is more common in people of West African ancestry than in people
of European ancestry.
What is indisputable is that the Caribbean athletes dominate the sprints but whether it is down to the slave trade and the natural selection of the slave owners is debatable, but Johnson sets out a very strong, and plausible, case.