According to the rules of natural bodybuilding competitors who use anabolic steroids and other muscle enhancing drugs should not compete in natural shows. Yet many popular contests for natural bodybuilders are won by athletes on drugs. The main reasons for this phenomenon are:
Ineffective drug testing
More often than not, the tests are just a formality. For example, it’s not uncommon to subject competitors to a polygraph test as many times as necessary to pass it with flying colors.
The promoters of the events encourage similar policies because bigger muscles attract more interest and investors. Athletes on drugs serve as a better promotional material than naturals relying on their gifts from mother nature.
Moreover, bodybuilding events are expensive. Sometimes there aren’t enough financial resources for effective drug testing. Every year billions are invested in anti-doping campaigns, and yet there are still athletes in every sport who are not natural. Some have political umbrellas whereas others are knowledgeable enough to pass the drug tests.
Desire to win at all costs
”Second place is the first loser.”
”Nice boys finish last.”
”If you are not cheating, you are not trying hard enough.”
The modern world puts a tremendous emphasis on success measured in money and fame. This leads to the production of athletes willing to win at all costs.
Bodybuilders on steroids don’t see a problem with competing in shows designed for natural athletes. After all, nobody judges the winners.
If everybody is using steroids, why shouldn’t I?
Many bodybuilders start injecting to level the playing field. An AK-47 (roids) is better than a bow (natural). This mechanism traps natural bodybuilding into a vicious cycle. There is no going back.
Inability to maintain the bodybuilding lifestyle
The bodybuilding lifestyle is rather boring – rice, chicken breast, sleep, lift…etc. Who other than a psycho would live like that forever? As a result, many bodybuilders who compete in natural shows call the dealer.
The drugs provide the following:
- Growth beyond the natural limit
- Faster recovery
- Muscle mass preservation during dieting
- Faster metabolism (Hello, pizza!) due to the larger musculature carried by the user
Some individuals don’t have optimal genes for bodybuilding (low testosterone, slim bones, long tendons…). This limits their growth substantially.
Since anabolic steroids are extremely powerful and work on pretty much anyone healthy enough to use them, some contenders take drugs to compensate for their poor genetic makeup and compete on a higher level.