If I remember correctly Ronnie pretty flat out admitted it in a speech a couple years ago.
And I’m somewhat conflicted about the “cheating” aspect.
While he may not be competing with natties, that’s only because a natty couldn’t ever get onto that stage to begin with. While there may not be an express rule against it, competing in the US there are laws against it. And using does put you at an unfair advantage over people more averse to the legal consequences.
While the guy has the right to lie about whatever he wants, I think he’s one of the big problems with the sport. He is telling kids to eat a ridiculous amount of food and train really hard and you can get on the Olympia stage. He is a large part of the reason bodybuilding has such a poor public image. So, you have the right to be an asshole, but I have the right to call you an asshole too. If you are a shredded 275 complaining about how unfair it is for people to think you use, you’re an asshole. It’s like putting on an “I voted Hillary” T-shirt and complaining that people think you voted for Hillary Clinton.
DD, yea that was the speech I had in mind. He called them vitamins or something, still skated around it a bit, but it was fairly transparent. As far as I know, he’s never actually talked specifically about drug use the way a few other guys (like Dorian) have.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say regarding his competition though… He’ll be competing at the Mr. O, where nobody is drug free, so he’s certainly not gaining any competitive advantage there against anyone. The same goes for any other IFBB show. I didn’t see if he does any non-IFBB shows, but assuming that’s all he does, your point makes little sense, regardless of the country he’s competing in. Aside from that, there aren’t laws against having steroids in your system here. There are possession and distribution laws. So if he trains outside of the US and flies in for a competition, he hasn’t necessarily broken any US laws (although he likely would use drugs here for the few days he spent in the states).
I’m not worried about what he’s ‘telling kids’. How many kids actually have an awareness of this guy’s existence? The vast majority of the people he’s lying to who have an interest in the sport already know every IFBB pro is on drugs anyway. So I think the net effect of the lies is minimal. I think it affects people like you substantially more than the people you claim it affects.
Here’s something to consider: would it be better for ‘the kids’ if he came out and said “I use drugs, drugs are what made me look like this”? I don’t think so. I’d rather see a bunch of kids cramming food down their throats thinking that was the way to look like a pro bodybuilder than a bunch of kids saying ‘oh, I obviously need to take drugs, that’s what this guy says he did’.
Literally the only people who I’ve ever seen complain about guys like this guy are natural lifters who know they can never make a dent in the sport, and want to pretend like the only missing piece is the drugs.
In regards to the Ronnie Coleman issue, we gotta keep in mind that, along with just being a guy who doesn’t need to air his dirty laundry, he was also a police officer, given the explicit duty of enforcing the law. It’s a very sticky situation for him to just out and say “yeah, I was using steroids”.
I of course have my feelings on that issue as well, but this is more just another point of info.
Prevalence doesn’t change the morality. You are telling me that if one single guy made it to the Olympia stage truly natural you’d change your stance and agree that everyone else cheated? Because there was a time when there was probably a mixture on the Olympia stage. It’s no more against the rules if there are natties standing up there. There are certainly natties lifting in untested powerlifting, does that make users in untested powerlifting cheaters?
I wasn’t even necessarily talking about the impact it has on the children. But it’s a big part of why the sport can no longer be popular. I don’t know what the solutions is, but it is all but a requirement of the sport to tell bold faced and obvious lies to the public and fans. It’s a big turn off.
I was one of those kids FTR. In elementary school, when
asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I actually told people a bodybuilder. In elementary school. Maybe I’m just super weird.
The Olympia doesn’t ban steroids in their contest rules, and contestants could train in other countries (many do). So no, it’s not cheating. I don’t see how morality factors in there. I mean, I guess you could say that contestants residing in the US who compete and use drugs illegally here have some amount of moral culpability, but even that is debatable, depending on how you feel about breaking laws that you don’t agree with. I do not believe that it’s immoral to compete in the Mr. Olympia contest while using steroids, to answer your question directly.
I would largely apply what I just said to powerlifting too. That’s why there are untested and tested meets. Hell, most federations have tested and non-tested divisions. I feel like your position regarding morality simply hinges on ‘it’s illegal, so it’s immoral’, and that position extends to competition.
We can agree that the sport is not likely to be popular again, but steroids are not the only reason. Arnold used steroids and smoked pot. He glorified both. So steroids are not the issue. I really don’t think the lying sways people one way or the other as fans. If you like seeing freaks on stage, you like them. The lying probably does influence fans to cheer for different competitors though.
When you were a kid, professional bodybuilders were using steroids, right? And weren’t some of them lying about it? Did that affect you at all?
We learn as teenagers and adults what’s really going on in the sport of bodybuilding, and at that point it may affect our actions. But so does playing any sport. I can guarantee you that in my high school, more people were drawn to steroids for sports reasons than for bodybuilding reasons.
I’m actually enjoying this discussion btw. I don’t agree with your position, but I think it’s well worth discussing.
Just to make it clear. I blurted that sarcastic comment out about Josh Lenartowicz in jest considering I had recently read that article before seeing this thread. Considering I have followed bodybuilding since twelve years old, which would be in 1991 or 1992, before I even picked up a weight, I obviously knew the deal from the get-go and knew I would never ever look like these guys. I also knew at that age that my genes were closer to average than extraordinary. I think my genes are decent or good, not excellent, to make this clear. So it’s not like I was ever some guy who thought some guy could take drugs, look like Ronnie Coleman or perform like Bo Jackson.
My thoughts on the legalities of roids are very mixed. On the one hand, I follow drug aided bodybuilding and some sports, but on the other hand, I’ve pondered over whether the laws regarding them are just. I actually attended a Steroid Law symposium at Hofstra University. Rick Collins hosted it. Dave Palumbo and Christopher Bell were speakers, along with some medical doctors. I got to ask some questions.
That sounds like it’d be an interesting thing to attend.
I don’t have a clear idea of what the legality in America SHOULD be regarding steroids. I don’t think they should all be lumped together though, much like we shouldn’t lump together all recreational drugs. We shouldn’t treat Dbol like trenbolone, for instance. The laws on the books today are reflective of past generations’ values, and in my opinion are outdated for our society. And I think eventually this will change, although it will take a long time. The most recent laws have been more restrictive than old ones.
Also, I used to think I could look like Arnold. I was probably wrong though. I’m starting to get an idea of where my ceiling might be. Better than average, probably much better than average. But not that elite.
If you compete in an untested contest totally clean, and others are using PEDs, then you can’t say they’re cheating. To me its a no-brainer. Just as simple as if you compete in a tested show (or “natural” show - but let’s avoid the tangents that can run off of this term for a moment) and you’ve been running grams of gear every week for years on end but have only come off enough to hopefully pass whatever testing methods are being employed, then you are cheating.
Still, with legal matters being what they are, no one is ever going to admit to use WHILE they are still using / competing, and implicate themselves.
I remember Ronnie claiming natty when he appeared on the Roseanne Barr show waaaaaay back when with his then-grilfriend Vicki Gates. Yep, two perfect specimens of clean eating, hard training, and saying your prayers, taking your vitamins, and yada yada yada.
Legality aside, i think elite athlete’s in any sport admitting to steroid use would be a far worse scenario than them trying to avoid the subject.
Kids going through high school with ambitions of becoming an elite athlete do not need to know that their heroes are using PED’s. Far better they put in the time and effort to get to a high level then start looking to steroids after discovering if they have what it takes.
I don’t think I’m being clear on my feelings. I’m not screaming cheater and trying to get people thrown out of competitions, it’s just a turn off. It makes me care far less about the sport and is one of the main reasons I decided not to personally participate.
And you guys are wrong. Usage in the IFBB is flat our cheating. It is explicitly against the rules, they just don’t test. Which is my whole point, the shredded 275 pound bodybuilder claiming natty status along with the IFBB rules banning steroids is just stupid. They literally have rules and testing set up to ensure that every single competitor must be a lying cheater to participate. I’m not blaming the guy considering the circumstances, I just think it’s all really dumb.
It would be like the MLB banning metal bats, and all the hitters claiming they only used wood bats despite the metallic ping every time a batter hit the ball and batters hitting the ball 200 feet farther than anyone with a wood bat ever could. Could you see a DH giving an interview who bats with a shiny metal “pinging” bat talking about what sort of wood he prefers? While kids on the internet talked about how he really could be using a wood bat? I’d have to quit watching baseball.
didn’t realize the IFBB actually claimed this. Kinda interesting, kinda funny. I think, under that circumstance, both sides of the argument can be justified. If every single person competing on the O stage is taking drugs, you can make the argument that by the rulebook, everyone is cheating. You can also make a compelling argument that when you insert common sense into the argument, and you see the organization for what it really is and what it wants to promote, then nobody is cheating. Sort of an ‘unwritten rule’, I guess, in terms of what to expect in the real world of the IFBB. So call it cheating, call it fair, whatever. We all know what’s going on, so the label itself loses its importance.
I would liken the situation to driving. Almost everyone drives 5 miles over the speed limit on most major highways. By the letter of the law, they are breaking it, but in all practicality, you do not expect to be pulled over for doing it. There are a few people out there who decide to go ahead and follow the speed limit, but from a practical standpoint, and the way law enforcement actually works, you’re not going to be cited for breaking the law in this manner. That’s what’s going on in the IFBB. The law says one thing, but there is no real expectation that the law is followed.
Uh, but they do give tickets for 20 over the speed limit. And the penalty is assessed from the speed limit, not from 5 over. There is enforcement of speed limits and there are practical reasons for having a margin. There is absolutely no enforcement of the IFBB drug policy. The IFBB banned testosterone, but you won’t get any penalty regardless of how much of it you take. They could probably watch you shooting up back stage and wouldn’t do anything to you.
Like I said, it is what it is. I don’t have a solution to offer. I just think it’s stupid and they limit my interest as a result.
Right, I understand the analogy wasn’t perfect. I don’t know why you felt the need to explain to me that you can get a ticket for going 20 over. Did you think I didn’t know that? My point was that there are things in our world that happen that are against the law that go unpunished in general practice. I felt like I made that point.
They are not cheating against the other competitors as they are all doing it and the guys competing don’t care. They know whats going on and want to be part of it.
So who are they really cheating? The rules of the IFBB? i assume they are only in place for public image and as per my previous post i believe that this is a good thing. If the drug use was broadcast we would have more teenagers and naive adults thinking that if they too use PED’s they will suddenly have what it takes to be a high level bodybuilder/athlete.
As the competitors are happy with the competition conditions and any adult of average intelligence knows whats going on and the reasons for it what is your issue?
I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying here. Are you saying your interest in the sport is limited by the fact that the competitors lie about their use to the public, the fact that they are breaking rules in a rulebook, or the fact that they use the drugs in the first place?
The whole situation. It’s one big ridiculous farce that makes the whole “sport” hard to take very seriously. See my MLB scenario. My 19 month old daughter tells more convincing and reasonable lies when she’s trying to get away with something. It’s like a real life “emperor has no clothes” scenario. I don’t know what else to compare it to. No one else here finds it absurd, annoying, tiresome, or idiotic?