Colin Congo compares pro bodybuilding to other sports when it comes to steroid use and policing of PEDs.
Colin Congo is a pro natural bodybuilder and also an active member in the FBI. This creates an interesting intersection between his personal beliefs about steroid use in bodybuilding – and the legal reality behind policing illegal steroid use in bodybuilding and other sports. The sport of bodybuilding is a strange beast in this way. Most leagues don’t actively test for illegal steroid use. That being said, it’s a general understanding that most pro bodybuilders use PEDs in order to reach the shocking level of muscular and size on display during contests. This fact, it’s argued, is what prevents a more mainstream version of success for the sport – such as being televised on mainstream broadcasts.
But there are those who point out that bodybuilding really isn’t any different from other pro sports. While different sports have different degrees of testing – it can be argued that almost all pro sports have athletes that use steroids and PEDs. The fact that Olympic teams such as Russia were the subject of wide spread steroid use seems to be proof that not everything can get caught (even if they do get caught eventually). That’s why we ultimately pulled on Colin Congo’s expertise as both a natural bodybuilder and a member of the FBI – do all pro sports really engage in consistent use of steroids? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Colin Congo shares his take on steroid use across all pro sports, how it’s policed, and if it can ever really be stopped.
No matter the sport, it seems at some point in time the greatest athletes in sporting culture ultimately get caught for steroids or other PED usage. Lance Armstrong is a famous example, as well as MMA legend Jon Jones. Most recently, the entire Russian Olympic team was the subject of a in-depth documentary exposing wide-spread steroid use among its athletes. Different pro sports handle drug testing in different ways. But one thing that seems to remain true is this – pro sports cannot 100% police PED use. Even for the most lucrative leagues – it’s too expensive and too logically complicated to regularly test all athletes.
With this in mind, how often are pro athletes really using steroids? Pro bodybuilding often gets a bad rap for steroid use and its unwillingness to test for it. But is bodybuilding really any different to other pro sports that are far more popular? Baseball, Basketball, Football – all major sports have their own steroid scandals. Is steroid use simply unavoidable on a pro level?
We asked this very question to Colin Congo – a bodybuilder who has dedicated his life to being all natural and also is an active member in the FBI. While he has no way of knowing the truth behind all key athletes across all pro sports – he is able to use his anecdotal experiences between the FBI and natural bodybuilding as a foundation for the bigger picture. As far as Congo is concerned, the logic is sound – steroid use is most likely far more used in pro sports than many fans realize.
Colin Congo says that a combination of massive money on the line and an uneven playing field contribute to steroid use in pro athletes. If an athlete knows some are using steroids, that puts them at a disadvantage. So why not close the gap by using PEDs as well? On top of that, many pro athletes have their income directly related to their ability. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line – the risk is suddenly becomes more worth it.
Colin Congo points out the irony for how reviled athletes become upon being caught for steroids. For example, Congo recounts Lance Armstrong having his entire reputation destroyed by being caught for PED usage. A friend and colleague of Congo’s took a look at the stats for other cyclists during Armstrong’s time. All of them were hitting close levels to Armstrong. After he was caught, in the years after those times and stats dropped significantly.
Congo’s take on that data? Many more cyclists were using the same drugs – but didn’t get caught. The reality is that Lance Armstrong was doing the same thing as all other athletes on his level. He got caught, his reputation is sullied, but really the entire sport’s reputation should take a hit. The problem is more endemic than media makes it out to be.
You can watch Colin Congo go into full detail about his thoughts on steroid use across all pro sports in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.