THE DRUG PROBLEM

The following information was released in the April 2015 “DRUG CRACKDOWN” issue of Natural Magazine International. This issue served as the official media announcement of the UPCA/UPCAA.


THE DRUG PROBLEM

BY JIM EVANS

Struggling against the cancer within, it seems like everyone in Bodybuilding is seeking an “edge” – not so much by the traditional methods of training harder or training smarter anymore but, rather, by supplementation, pharmacology, or some combination of the two. And, sometimes there isn’t much, if any, difference between supplementation and pharmacology as evidenced by the many nutritional companies that have been busted for mixing trace levels of illegal performance-enhancing drugs with their products to gain their own “edge” in the supplement industry. Whatever happened to just eating real food?

The popular gym scuttlebutt nowadays usually revolves around what concoction of supplements you are using or what combination of drugs you are injecting rather than what kind of workout you are doing as everyone searches for the magic potion that will transform their physique to the next level.

Most Natural Bodybuilding organizations march to their own drummers cherry-picking which substances they want to include on their banned substance list and which substances they don’t, largely influenced by personal opinion rather than science. In some cases they opt to go along with whatever exclusions the nutritional companies that sponsor them want them to exclude – a classic example of the tail wagging the dog. After all, money talks.

You would think that the nutritional companies would want to adhere to some kind of common banned substance list to lend credibility to their own cause, but – no – too many of them prefer to fudge their ingredients to bolster the bottom line even if it might have a potentially deleterious effect on the health of their customers or put their Natural Bodybuilding devotees at risk of being unfairly disqualified from competition. Capitalism without conscience.

 “THE SPORT OF BODYBUILDING HAS BEEN TOTALLY CORRUPTED BY DRUGS – IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER…”

In short, the sport of Bodybuilding has been totally corrupted by drugs – in one form or another – and the Natural Bodybuilding community is slowly diminishing its own legitimacy by its inexcusable failure to agree on even a common banned substance list. There are now more than 49 different Natural Bodybuilding organizations with 49 different definitions of what is “natural.” The situation would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

Natural athletes could change things, of course, but they won’t. Most of them don’t want to rock the boat. They are generally content to follow whichever “so-called” natural organization provides the fastest route to a Pro Card – the ultimate status symbol. The fact that it might be their first contest or that there was no one else in their class is irrelevant to becoming a “Pro.” So what if the organization in which they compete is a little lax in their drug testing protocol or their banned substance list allows for substances that might be banned by other organizations? The public will still believe that they are a Natural Pro, and that’s all that matters. Who cares about the politics or the details!?

But there are some natural athletes out there who really DO deplore the petty politics among the natural organizations and really DO care about the details of drug testing and what is banned and what is not. They really DO care about whether someone who failed a drug test in one contest or organization is still allowed to compete. They really DO care about the integrity of the sport. Or, at least they SAY they care about all these things. But, do they care enough to call out the leaders of their organizations to stop giving lip service to unity and actually do something about it even if it might rile someone they know and respect? Do they care enough to insist on a common banned substance list? Do they care enough to insist on better drug testing? Do they care enough to speak up or will they continue to just mumble about it behind closed doors and continue to be part of the problem?

The future of Natural Bodybuilding is ultimately in the hands of the natural athletes. If they don’t care enough to stand up and fight for the integrity of their sport, Natural Bodybuilding will continue to spiral out of control and the already-blurred lines between Natural Bodybuilding and its juiced counterpart will converge. There is a cancer growing in Natural Bodybuilding and that cancer is drugs. It is insidious and will not stop growing until the sport takes control of its own future. Not “someday.” Now. Someday may be too late. NMI


April 2015 “DRUG CRACKDOWN” issue – Natural Magazine International. (please note that all of the “Drug Crackdown” information contained in this issue is detailed on the UPCA website). If you would like the magazine version visit the link above.

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