With the recent death of Chris Benoit, the home run record buster Barry Bonds and the dismantling of the historic sport of cycling hardly a day goes by without a steroid story in the papers. As a fan and now someone who aspires to hit the stage in bodybuilding, I believe it's time to begin more in depth steroid testing in both NPC and IFBB contests...both men and women. For the health of the sport and it's members things have gotten out of control.
I've always loved female bodybuilding and have attended many shows over the last ten years and despite the dedication and incredibly hard work the sport suffers. It's best spokespeople can't be deciphered as male or female by their voices. Their bodies may look remarkable but the health risks of the top few are not worth the meager winnings.
I watch the American Gladiators on reruns on ESPN Classic and despite knowing the top competitors surely used some type of illegal substance they did not introduce the types and the quantities they do now. Recently there was a mandate for 20% less muscle in the female competitions but really they were asking for a 20% reduction in illegal substance so maybe they'd be less stubble and more feminine features to go along with the advance musculature.
Mainstream acceptance may never be 100% but right now it's almost nil. Cory and Rachel were ambassadors of the sport and gave the sport some legitimacy. So where Kim and Lenda. But where is it now?
The problem cited most often is cost, but now testing is less expensive then when last proposed with high schools across the country testing. There can't be any hesitation either. You decide and you implement. Those caught are given a three year ban. Caught again? And you're forever an armature bodybuilders.
The time has come for giving bodybuilders incentive to find natural ways to get huge and see who has the best genetics...That's what all sport is about. Hard work and Genetics. Once you get rid of the third factor you'll see interest increase as well as legitimate sponsors...and that's really what's needed most.