We go from a fun topic yesterday to one of the most serious ones today: steroids in wrestling.
Thankfully, I cannot speak from personal experience about steroids in wrestling. I never used steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs in my life. I was never even tempted to. I have known for a long time that if you are working out for wrestling in the right way, that is all you need to do.
I can imagine if I did use steroids in wrestling the number one thing I would feel would be regret.
Let’s be honest, we all have cheated at something in our lives be it on a test or in a game of cards. I learned early on that whenever I cheated, it did not feel good, especially when I “won.”
Taking steroids is a more severe case of cheating. You are using something that gives you an unfair advantage over your competition and if you win because of that you will not feel good about it. I imagine the guilt would just eat away at you every day. That is not even considering the physical, mental, and emotional side effects of taking them.
Steroids in wrestling are not as rampant as in other sports because of weight issues. Most wrestlers know that steroids build muscles and muscles weigh a lot. It would be difficult to use steroids and stay in your weight class. That is why steroids in wrestling are abused the most in the off-season and thus by the time athletes do get tested for them it is too late to detect.
I can remember a clear example in high school wrestling when a tall and lanky 160 pound wrestler in his junior season shot up to 215 his senior year. I remember watching him wrestle and asking myself why are they not testing this guy. Why are they allowing this unfair advantage? I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that when I was in high school, steroid testing was not going on. I hope it is now.
Luckily on the highest levels of the sport such as the NCAA Championships and the Olympics, drug testing is a huge deterrent for steroid users. The moment after I won nationals I had a “shadow” follow me everywhere I went for the next five hours. His job was to not leave my side until I gave a urine sample to the drug testing committee. When you give that sample there is someone in there staring directly at you the entire time so there can be no urine swaps. Although it was awkward, I was glad that the NCAA took such stringent measures to ensure a level playing field.
There is no place for steroids in wrestling.