Doping and bodybuilding scandals

The world of bodybuilding is often associated with the use of illegal substances. A bodybuilder who takes drugs can achieve in one year the results of several years of intense training. It is in this sense that practitioners, especially professionals, easily fall into the temptation to use them. The bad habits of some of them, linked to steroids and anabolic drugs, have even been revealed. Focus on doping in bodybuilding and the scandals in this field.

The reasons for doping in bodybuilding

Gaining power and energy

Like athletes in other disciplines, the doped bodybuilder becomes more powerful and full of energy. Even worse in this sport, it is possible to escape the doping control simply by stopping the drug for a certain period of time before the competition.

Scandales de dopage en mucsulation
Many bodybuilders resort to doping.

Accelerated increase in muscle mass

Steroids and anabolics accelerate protein synthesis at the cellular level and abnormally develop contractile fibers. The athlete who uses them on a daily basis therefore becomes very muscular and has an inordinate capacity to resist physical effort.

Rapidity of the muscular dryness

A dry and voluminous physique remains the dream of all bodybuilders, amateur or professional. It is necessary to go through the period of muscular dryness to achieve it. The body frees itself from water retention and fat is eliminated considerably.

For a natural bodybuilder, dryness can cause severe dehydration that softens the body. On the other hand, a bodybuilder who dopes up easily passes this phase without risk of muscle wasting.

The former doped bodybuilders

John Grimek and Steeve Reeves

In 1940, the fateful year of John Grimek and Steeve Reeves who were then emblematic figures of bodybuilding, doping in this field was already taking place. The bodybuilders of the time administered drugs in their bodies similar to those taken by today’s athletes.

John and Steeve did not escape this trend, they developed their muscles with the help of a steroid developed by the American physicist John Bosley Ziegler. At the time, it was a substance with characteristics similar to those of Methandrostenolone.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The first synthesis of the hormone androstenone took place in 1934, thanks to the efforts of an Austro-Hungarian and Swiss chemist named Leopold Ruzicka.

Subsequently, many scientists of different nationalities deepened their research and discovered several varieties of powerful androgens.

In the 70’s and 80’s, when Arnold Schwarzenegger became famous as a bodybuilder, steroids and anabolics were already commonplace in the bodybuilding world.

He had been discreetly taking D-BOL since he was a teenager and it was easy for him to earn the M. UNIVERSITY in 1969. This bodybuilder hadn’t yet reached his twenties in this competition, but he already had a dream body and impressive muscle mass due to doping.

Wendy Leigh exposed Arnold’s doping in her book “An Unauthorized Biography – Arnold” which was published in 1990.

Larry Scott and friends

The Mr. Olympia contest has made the bodybuilding discipline popular. Larry Scott, the first winner of this contest, was also the amazing result of steroid use. He and his athletic friends, coached by Vince Gironda, took a counterpart of Dianabol.

Among these doped-up bodybuilders, you may know Don Howorth, Rick Wayne, Mohamed Makkawy… Their trainer always tried to hide the truth about it. But more than just a sport, bodybuilding was in fact another form of commercial activity, and it still is.

Known doping cases in the bodybuilding world

Injections of steroids and anabolics using special zebus guns

Scandales de dopage en mucsulation
The use of doping in bodybuilding is still in the news.

Starting in 2011, bodybuilders are introducing steroids and anabolic steroids into their bodies using cow pistols. In the space of only 3 years, from 2011 to 2014, this technique has increased the number of doping cases intercepted by more than 40%.

This type of gun was designed to accelerate the development of muscle mass in zebus and cows. And it guarantees the same effect in men. On the other hand, the hormonal value also increases due to the slow introduction of the substance into the body, which would be fatal to health.

At the time, hormone cell investigators were engaged in projects to intercept dope substances in fitness centers. A packet of Synovex H together with a gun for injecting zebus were discovered. And 8% of doped bodybuilders are minors according to several studies.

Alain Damour and Pierre Payet intercepted

In 2010, in Reunion Island, the bodybuilder and founder of the Heracles Concept, was intercepted at Gillot airport when he had several anabolic drugs and Chinese medicines in his luggage. He was accompanied by another bodybuilder at the time of his interception.

The drugs that Alain Damour had used to build up his muscles quickly were also intercepted at his home. At the same time, the gendarmerie’s search section stopped another bodybuilder at his home.

Richard Eugène Piana, who died from an excess of stimulants.

Richard Eugene Piana, the American bodybuilder who won several titles, was considered the best in the eyes of the International Federation of Bodybuilders. He confessed to using steroids and anabolic steroids during his 25-year career and said he was aware of the effect of doping on his health.

He began bodybuilding at the age of 6 and continued to maintain an impressive physique until he was 46 years old when his heart gave out. Excessive steroid use was the cause of his death, which occurred in August 2017.

One of his relatives was at his side at the time of his death. This is a person who was already used to seeing him faint after taking the medication, she did not expect him to die this time. The police discovered another 20 vials of steroids in the house of this social networking legend.


The muscular physique of bodybuilders is not necessarily the work of doping. There are natural bodybuilders who train healthily in parallel with those who pump up their muscles with steroids and anabolics. It is possible to recognize doped bodybuilders by the speed of progression of muscle mass gain.