I thought it would interesting to start a thread about the prevalence of AAS use in strongman, both pro and amateur.
I'm finding that many amateur strongman competitors choose to remain natural, either because of natural size or personal philosophy. It's well known that most strongman contests don't drug test, so one would think AAS use would become more common as the level of contests increases; which I think is the case.
I know several of the past and current pros are natural: Magnus Samuelsson, Phil Pfister (adamantly anti-drug), Dave Ostlund, Brian Shaw, and others I may be forgetting. Obviously all of these men have tremendous genetic gists in size and strength, all of them being 6'5'' or taller and 330+.
Then of course you have the (relatively) smaller competitors like Mariusz, Poundstone, and Kevin Nee, who have massive muscularity and carry very little bodyfat for strongmen. All of these guys are fantastically strong, even scary-strong in some events.
While these groups are obvious distinctions between the natural and AAS-using camps, I'm curious as to how prevalent it is and what the strongman community in general thinks of the subject. There seems to be much less candor about it than in bodybuilding. Frankly I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of if there are no organizational rules against use. If there ever was a sport that would necessitate them, strongman is it.
My thought is that unless you posses extraordinary genetic gifts in size and power, if you want to reach the top, you're going to have to bite the bullet at some point, both for power increase and recovery from the demands of ever-increasing contest weights.
I'd like to hear from some experienced athletes especially.