Joey Swoll answers the question: is the lack of drug testing the reason why bodybuilding isn’t mainstream?
The biggest negative stereotype revolved around bodybuilding is that every single athlete is on steroids. It’s a perception that is so wide spread that the sport of bodybuilding has been marked as taboo in the mainstream sports realm. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, we sit down with bodybuilder and entrepreneur Joey Swoll to discuss drugs, testing, and bodybuilding going mainstream.
Arnold Schwarzenegger put the entire bodybuilding world into a fervor when he proclaimed that professional bodybuilding should have drug testing. But beyond the moral implications of his statements, another important question isn’t being nearly asked enough. Would drug testing pro bodybuilding actually bring it further into the mainstream? If pro bodybuilding can give off an image of being “drug free” it might get picked up by bigger networks (perhaps getting the Mr. Olympia back onto broadcast television!).
Joey Swoll thinks that couldn’t be further from the truth. While pro bodybuilding currently doesn’t conduct drug tests on its athletes, Joey points out that most other sports still have a problem with steroid use across the board. It’s not even a secret anymore. Most fans know that the top athletes are using PEDs to become the best.
But rules and perception can have a big effect on how the mainstream public chooses to judge things. Bodybuilding is still taboo regardless of how many other sports are rampant with steroids and other PEDs. It’s all about marketing.
Still, Joey Swoll thinks drug testing would ultimately hurt the sport rather than help. The sport as a whole has other hurdles to overcome if it wants to go mainstream. One of which being the small pool of athletes interested in transforming their body to such an extreme degree. Bodybuilding won’t inspire as many children the same way baseball or football does. If anything, Joey argues that drug testing will simply cause the hardcore fans to lose interest in bodybuilding… and the sport still won’t earn mainstream appeal. Thus losing overall viewers and interest.
Ultimately, Joey brings it all back to being educated and taking responsibility for yourself. The reason so many people fear steroids and other PEDs is because of the informed people who don’t know limits and end up hurting themselves. Information saves lives more lives than blacklisting talk about PEDs.
Check out the full GI Exclusive interview clip with Joey Swoll above and make sure to stick around the Generation Iron Fitness Network for more GI Exclusive clips to come!