MMA commentator and podcast host Joe Rogan has had more than his share fair share of controversial opinions over the years.

Although Joe Rogan has never participated in strength sports himself, he’s a regular on the commentator circuit, and for good reason: he’s a longtime admirer of the sport who genuinely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to bodybuilding and powerlifting. Joe Rogan shared more of his opinions on where the sport is headed in a recent podcast with Mariana van Zeller, where he specifically critiqued the widespread use of steroids within the sport of bodybuilding. You can listen to the podcast in full above.

Rogan referenced a friend of his from Boston, whom he described as “a natural bodybuilder who was very dedicated,” saying that although he had “big giant arms [and] was a very thick guy, he was nothing like those giants that you see at the gym, the ones that are on steroids.” Both of them expressed dissatisfaction at the current direction the sport has taken and the fact that bodybuilders who do not abuse steroids are no longer seen as competitive.

Zeller agreed that steroids pose a serious problem for bodybuilding as a sport and shared her own negative experiences with them as a commentator. She reported that it was not uncommon for competitors she was covering to be given steroids mid-show and return to the stage with greater vascularity and muscle definition. The end result of recurrent steroid abuse on this level is premature death, since anabolic steroids can lead to a number of health conditions which can be fatal. Rich Piana was brought up as a life that was ended too soon due to steroid abuse.

It’s an ugly truth of the sport that can’t possibly be denied: steroid abuse has an extremely negative effect on the health of competitors. Even those who cycle steroids responsibly under the direct supervision of an experienced doctor often experience adverse health effects. For the sport to move forward, more has to be done to combat this plague, and people need to be less afraid about having frank discussions about the long term effects of these chemicals on the body.

Podcast host Mariana von Zeller uses this episode of “Trafficked” to confront the issue of steroid abuse in sports head on. An investigative journalist popular for her work with National Geographic, Von Zeller uses her skills in the podcast to break down the context and impact of several important issues. It’s worth listening to the full episode if steroid abuse is something you’re especially interested in because she uses a measured fact-based approach to the situation that is rare in the clickbait-driven world of sports media. Previously, Mariana von Zeller examined the opioid epidemic in America and explored the lives of drug traffickers who have brought OxyContin into the country illegally.

*All images and media courtesy of YouTube.

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