Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Ok here's my take on it...
1. I'm not one to accuse anybody of using AAS and if someone say he's natural I will always give him the benefit of the doubt. I've been accused of being a AAS user myself more than I'd like to remember, so I know how it feels to be on that side of the fence.
2. I have nothing but the utmost respect for guys like Skip, Jeff Willett, Dave Goodin and the likes.
3. That having been said you must understand that there are no such things as "natural bodybuilding shows"... there are "drug tested bodybuilding shows". BIG difference. A "natural" show would mean that everybody in the competition would be 100% lifetime drug free while a "drug tested" show simply means that some of the competitors will be drug tested.
Passing a drug test doesn't mean that you never used steroids... it means that on the day of the test, you didn't have any steroid or steroid metabolites in your system. It's exactly like with the Olympics... they do a ton of testing and something like 1-2% of the tests are positive.
Does that mean that most olympic athletes are natural? Not a chance! It means that on the day of the test their body is free of drugs. They could have used some in the past and stopped soon enough to avoid detection; they could have used undetectable substances (IGF-1, MGF, insulin, etc.) or used masking agents.
Furthermore, at drug tested bodybuilding events they don't always test everybody. A REAL drug test (urine analysis) costs around 500$ (for the whole pannel of banned substances).
Considering that this expense comes out of the promotors' pocket, it is very highly unlikely that the guy will cut into his profits by having 50+ athletes tested! I've worked as the head of the anti-doping comittee for the Quebec Bodybuilding Federation and was responsible of arranging the drug tests with an accredited IOC lab.
Normally we had 2-5 drug tests per competition. At the national level it's 5-7 tests. So right off the bat, if there are 50 competitors you only have a 5-12% chance of being tested (some are willing to take that chance).
Some organizations bypass that "costly" problem by using other types of drug "tests". Some use a visual pannel: the judges scrutinize at the athletes when they register and look for obvious signs of doping (bitch tits for example). If they decide that you look "enhanced" you cannot compete.
Other organizations use a lie detector test (which is pretty easy to fool). Some will use a cheaper urine analysis test that only tests for a limited number of substances (the most commonly abused).
So while I think that everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt; we still have to remember that just because some competes in a tested show doesn't mean that he's natural. Heck the IFBB world championships are extensively tested (top 5 in each weight class plus some random tests) and some class winners look like top tier pros.