How do you frighten off a 300-pound weightlifter with arms like diseased tree trunks? No, playing dead is for bears.
You threaten to test their urine.
Over the weekend, the Belgian Bodybuilding Championship was cancelled after doping officials made a surprise visit, prompting every single one of the 20 contestants to immediately grab their stuff and hit the road.
It was like a herd of elephants scattering at the sight of a mouse.
“From the moment they knew that there was anti-doping control, they just went away,” said Dr Hans Cooman, one of the three doping officials. “There was no competition any more because there were no competitors.”
Many in the bodybuilding community are saying that this is a black eye for the sport.
I could not disagree more: It’s simply not a sport—it’s a pageant.
We might as well call ballet or the Miss America pageant a sport.
With the swimsuit section of the Miss America pageant in mind, the only real difference is that those contestants must showcase a talent (other than flexing) and must answer an opinion-based question, which is always a good spot to spout some bigoted remarks about gay marriage. (See Miss California, Carrie Prejean.)
Just because they have to perform physical activities (i.e. pumping iron) to sculpt their hideously bulbous bodies, that doesn’t make it’s a sport. But I digress.
All in all, the testers shouldn’t have been surprised since last year three-quarters of bodybuilders tested positive in the northern Belgium’s Flanders region.
Three-quarters! I’m shocked and appalled—that seems awfully low!
For cryin’ out loud, they don’t even look human—nature never intended people to have the physique of He-Man. They look like the character of a sci-fi movie having a terrible allergic reaction, right before they either pop or tear out of their skin.
Here’s how you can tell the “sport” has a steroid problem. Who’s the most famous body builder? Arnold Schwarzenegger. Did he take steroids? Yes—he admitted it.
Next in line is Lou Ferrigno, who also admitted to using them once “under a doctor’s care”—whatever that means. Maybe he has the same doctor as Roger Clemens.
Who’s third in line? No clue—they obviously haven’t gotten into acting yet.
“I have never seen anything like it and hope never to see anything like it again,” said Cooman.
Bodybuilding—and sports entertainment wrestlers, for that matter—will always be pumping themselves up into grotesque specimens with drugs because otherwise viewership will decline. They set the standard with steroids and couldn’t achieve gag-inducing physiques without them.
It would be like professional tennis players going back to wooden racquets.
However, steroid ridden bodybuilders do have some important uses.
Although I would strongly hesitate saying this to one of those Arnold-types, here is a list of things world-class bodybuilders are good for: Yelling “Get in the chopper” in movies. Wearing green makeup. Tearing pesky phonebooks in half. Tracing the body’s circulatory system through the skin.
If any bodybuilders are offended by this, feel free to stop by the paper. All visitors must submit a urine sample.
Contact Tom Patrick at