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Your Favorite Athlete Is Probably On Drugs…

Your Favorite Athlete Is Probably On Drugs…

Because of the extreme changes in physical appearance, it’s easy to point the finger at bodybuilders as main perpetrators of chemical enhancement. However, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. From musclebound bodybuilders to comparatively anorexic looking cyclists, we now know the visual spectrum possible for chemically enhanced athletes and how little external appearance dictates what is going on internally. Since the BALCO days, an ignorant public has started to become increasingly aware of the role of performance enhancing drugs and the reality of sport at an elite level, that likely many of your favorite athletes are on in one form or another.


Lance Armstrong (Cycling): Yes, this one seems like common knowledge now, but less than a decade ago it was hard to find a member of the general American public that didn’t both support Lance and defend his claims of being a ‘natural’ athlete. Many had elevated the most decorated winner of the Tour De France to the status of a cultural icon for his accomplishments on his bike and off; beating testicular cancer then winning more races, simultaneously building a foundation that collected millions of dollars directed towards cancer research. Keep in mind he never failed a test, demonstrating their efficacy.

Jon Jones and Dan Cormier: Both the UFC Light-heavyweight champions would come up with suspicious Testosterone/Estrogen ratios when they faced off at UFC 182. Jon Jones’ T/E tested at .29 as well as .35 in one day, then as low as .19 another leading up the event. Respectively, Daniel Cormier had T/E floating between 4.-.48 on two separate tests. Both the men tested at odd enough ratios they’d be banned by most natural bodybuilding organizations, yet as the stars of UFC, these statistics went conveniently overlooked.

Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Braun (Baseball): Yes, PEDs are still rampant in baseball, even in 2016. Commentators still insist on ignorantly assuming the ‘steroid era’ is over, but it’s not, nor will it be anytime soon (or ever) as made evident when former National League Baseball MVP Ryan Braun tested positive for elevated ratios of testosterone to estrogen in late 2011. Braun vehemently denied the allegations initially (in the video below,) but shortly after admitted to the charges, retracted his prior statements, and accepted his suspension.

Serena Williams: The most accomplished athlete in tennis, having first reached #1 status for females in 2002. Serena still maintains this #1 position in her sport but not without (slight) controversy. In late 2011 an unnamed tennis organization sent its agent to collect a sample from Serena for testing. Upon the tester’s arrival to her front door, Serena did what all logical people would do, run and hide in the panic room of her mansion; where she’d then call the police to claim she was in fear for her safety. While you can’t blame someone for prioritizing their wellness, you have to wonder if she has the same extreme response every time a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon shows up at her door.

Here's Johnny

Reenactment Of Serena Williams Event

In 2016, a fact of life is drugs are now commonplace in sport and have been for awhile but were not as openly addressed or accessible. We now know these drugs are utilized by all types of athletes at every level, and while some may consider it cheating, when everyone is doing it would it still be so? What’s worse, taking chemicals to maximize potential that is impossible to tap otherwise, or being forced to lie to perpetuate and appease the ignorance our society prefers out of convenience and dated ideology.

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