GoT’s strongman champ admits to steroid use

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, the man known to “Game of Thrones” fans as “The Mountain” and the reigning World’s Strongest Man, says he is willing to do whatever is necessary to win — including taking steroids.

In a lengthy interview with ESPN’s E:60, Bjornsson was asked whether he had ever taken steroids, long associated with the sport of strongman. “Yes, I have,” Bjornsson says in the 2017 interview, which aired Sunday morning on E:60. “When you want to be the best, you do whatever it takes.”

Bjornsson did not elaborate on when he has used performance-enhancing drugs. Asked how often he takes steroids and if he’s still doing it, Bjornsson deferred: “Can we just skip those questions?”

The annual World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition officially prohibits the use of PEDs, but it is not clear the extent or effectiveness of its drug testing for its athletes, as many athletes and bodybuilders now look for alternative supplements.

No. I mean, how would you expect a multibillion monopoly to behave? Training at high altitude can have a similar effect, as the body compensates for the decreased atmospheric oxygen level by releasing a natural synthesis of erythropoietin that induces higher red blood cell production.

Following several half-hearted attempts in which FINA sent lawyers to talk to Chinese government officials about doping, FINA punished the individual athletes but found no evidence of systematic doping. USC professor and steroid expert Todd Schroeder says the human body can indeed accomplish some phenomenal results naturally, particularly in one’s 20s, when natural testosterone production peaks. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

And that brings up an interesting issue, that the bodybuilding magazines and some of the publicity surrounding bodybuilding has portrayed the bodybuilder as someone who is a highly self-disciplined person who eats a very careful diet, exercises rigorously, and a very careful schedule, avoids alcohol, cigarettes, et cetera, and takes anabolic steroids. Most Amazing Victory – Ester Ledecka. In the 1976 Montreal Olympics, East German women nearly swept the pool. Its team is called the Olympic Athletes from Russia, or OAR, and it competes under the Olympic flag. My proposed answer is that we care about the competitive aspect of sport (who beat whom), whereas we care about the objective qualities of an actor’s performance, not the details of how he might have beat out other actors for the role.

The drug probably aided in athletic performance, but because it had not been identified and studied, its use had to be allowed.

1 INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE , Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code ch. 2, art. Twenty years of hard-core use has all but destroyed his body’s natural ability to produce testosterone ( Jose Canseco has suffered the same fate) leaving him even more susceptible to depression than the typical prison inmate. There are various other organizations which promote the sport including INBF (International Natural Bodybuilding Federation), NPA (Natural Physique Association), NGA (National Gym Association), NANBF (North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation), NPC (National Physique Committee), and OCB (Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders).

No Shame For Big Gains

In Netflix’s sports-doping expose, we watch actor-turned-filmmaker Bryan Fogel stumble onto a global scandal. Of course, doping wasn’t banned in those days. It was only with the establishment of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 1928 that the sports federation took it upon itself to draw a line under doping. This developed in the 1960s, as the worlds of football and cycling introduced doping tests for world championships, followed by the Olympics. After a drug scandal during the 1998 Tour de France, the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up.

The plot thickened in 2010, when former U.S. Postal rider Floyd Landis, who had been stripped of his 2006 Tour de France win for drug use, admitted to doping and accused his celebrated teammate of doing the same. That prompted a federal investigation, and in June 2012 the U.S Anti-Doping Agency brought formal charges against Armstrong. The case heated up in July 2012, when some media outlets reported that five of Armstrong’s former teammates, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde—all of whom participated in the 2012 Tour de France—were planning to testify against Armstrong.

The story of young Linas, a promising cyclist whose life was cut short after abusing performance-enhancing drugs, reminds us that doping can kill. We would be wise to remember that it has happened before. Linas’ story is one of the saddest we have come across and it powerfully demonstrates why many of us who have chosen to pursue anti-doping continue to do so. This one story illuminates in no uncertain terms the realities of what we all face with the scourge of doping, and yet outside of Italy and frequent readers of Cycling News, few sports fans have probably heard of it.

From 2012 to 2017, Bjornsson — who says he eats eight meals a day when training — chalked up three second-place and three third-place finishes. What he calls “probably my hardest loss” came in 2017, when he fell one point short of the United Kingdom’s Eddie Hall.

Bjornsson, who says he has never failed a drug test during competition, finally earned the right to be called World’s Strongest Man when he finished on top last May in the Philippines.

Along the way, Bjornsson was approached by representatives of “Game of Thrones,” who were filming in Iceland, and since Season 4 has played towering villain Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. That role has earned him worldwide notoriety and invitations to work in commercials and appear at other events, such as stirring up fans at a Minnesota Vikings game.

Steroid use has often been blamed in the premature deaths of strongman competitors, including another four-time world champion from Iceland, Jon Pall Sigmarsson. His death in 1993, at the age of 32 while training, was reported to be from cardiac arrest with anabolic steroids as a contributing factor.

Bjornsson admits all the roles he juggles in his life — athlete, actor, pitchman, father — have put a strain on him, and his family says they fear for his health.

Like Athletes, Actors Use Steroids to Get Ahead. Russia’s Olympic team was recently banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea following an International Olympic Committee ruling. The rulling came as the result of a prolonged investigation into the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia”, and was the IOC’s most severe action yet to punish Russia for state-sanctioned doping; something the organisation called an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”.

Hollywood provides the perfect catalyst for PEDs. Actors sometimes have to gain huge amounts of muscle in short periods of time. Many male leads have abnormally large muscles, giving increased opportunities for actors with such physiques. Although many PEDs are illegal, there is no drug testing for actors. With large financial resources, many actors are able to acquire a broad range of drugs to help them bulk up. According to one estimate, up to 20% of elite male actors use PEDs , such as growth hormone and testosterone. In 2007 Sylvester Stallone was caught entering Australia with vials of HGH and testosterone.

Clean Athlete Awards – Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall. In an Olympics marred by the Russian doping scandal, we always appreciate it when you can literally see that athletes are clean. Not that we advocate that a visual determination replace anti-doping testing, but some people you can just tell are not doping. We thoroughly enjoyed watching these ladies win clean, and with amazing smiles! We also appreciate the other courageous cross-country skiers who signed the letter in 2016 demanding a stronger stance on doping , including notably the four Russian women who signed. Thanks to all of you for working to defend your sport from the scourge of doping.

Despite the inspiring narrative of Armstrong’s triumph over cancer, not everyone was convinced it was valid. Irish sportswriter David Walsh, for one, became suspicious of Armstrong’s behavior and sought to shed light on the rumors of drug use in the sport. In 2001, he wrote a story linking Armstrong to Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, who was being investigated for supplying performance enhancers to cyclists. Walsh later secured a confession from Armstrong’s masseuse, Emma ‘Reilly, and laid out his case against the American champion as co-writer of the 2004 book L.A. Confidential.

This commonly consumed stimulant is not strictly banned by the IOC or WADA, but there is a threshold for a doping infraction: 12 micrograms per milliliter (about four to eight cups of coffee in a period of two to three hours.) Generally, as a performance enhancing substance, caffeine is claimed to increase endurance, to enhance alertness and concentration. Even in small amounts there may be some positive effect on short duration high-performance sports. Evidence indicates a significant effect of larger doses in endurance events and in some short duration high-performance sports. Work output may increase up to 7% and duration of exercise time may increase by 19%. 23 Drawbacks of usage are also widely known and can include headaches and insomnia if the user discontinues use.

“When you are putting yourself through all this,” says Bjornsson, “I’ve always thought about, ‘What if I pass away?’ It would be very hard to know that I left my family too soon. I want to be there for my family. I want to be there for my daughter. But this is my life. This is what I enjoy to do.”

This year’s World’s Strongest Man competition is scheduled for June 13-16 in Bradenton, Florida. Bjornsson said he plans to be there to defend his title.

No writing on sport and technology would be complete without a discussion of doping. Doping has been the centre of a vast number of controversies centred on health, fairness and, more importantly for this book, purity of the human body. Doping is a particularly interesting case for ANT, as all discussions of doping concern how the human body assembles with artificial substances or techniques. The problem for those trying to eradicate doping is how to establish that the assemblage is occurring at all, and this chapter details a variety of ways in which various groups have attempted to examine the prevailing doping issues.

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