In recent years, due to the whole Olympics doping scandal, the term “steroids” is a pretty dirty word. Actually, I say in recent years, but steroid use has been rife in sports for decades. Ever since people began to understand what steroids are, what they do, they’ve been grown, often in synthetic labs, for all sorts of people, mainly sportspeople as performance enhancers. Athletes want to get bigger, stronger, faster, in order to gain an advantage. More often than not, it works. But with more sophisticated detection methods constantly being developed, these athletes tend to get found out. Their reputations are tarnished, people no longer see them in the same light.
Steroids, in addition to being performance enhancers, can alter a person’s appearance. There’s the increase in strength, people can become more muscular, but there are also the unwanted side effects – rarely a consideration to those taking them at the time. There’s also the strong likelihood of adverse side effect down the line, perhaps years later. The body also responds differently when people get off the juice. This can result in physiological changes, can seriously affect a person’s health. It can also make an individual look terrible. These are 15 athletes who’ve taken steroids, have been found out, and who looked terrible after getting off the juice.
15 Rafael Palmeiro
Rafael Palmeiro is a former Cuban American Major League Baseball first baseman and left fielder. He was regarded to be one of the greatest players of all time. I say was, because just after his 3,000th hit, he became a disgraced athlete after he tested positive for anabolic steroids. He was suspended for ten days, what seems like a paltry suspension in comparison to the bans and fines being dished out to cheating athletes today. He’s always denied steroid use, but other athletes have come out and said he used steroids throughout his career. Ever seen him in his heyday?
The guy was massive, built like a bodybuilder. Make of that what you will. What tends to happen when you get off the juice? You become soft, and in the case of some people, it looks like they’ve never touched a weight, let alone juiced, in their lives. That’s what Rafael looked like after he supposedly came off the juice. He’s put on weight, is significantly chunkier, and just doesn’t look to be in great shape at all.
14 Marion Jones
A common misconception about steroids users, is that only men take them. That’s definitely not the case. Steroid use might be more obvious in men, since the male body responds better to testosterone – it is after all, known as the male hormone. While it might not be entirely obvious in women, it can affect a person’s performance. Right throughout her career, Marion had been accused of juicing. She always stringently denied the allegations. This made her look like a right twat when investigations found she had indeed been juicing. Marion then became one of the most hated athletes on the planet when she admitted lying, admitted to juicing.
Since those days, Marion appears to be a broken woman. Getting off the juice has made her look haggard, as has the money woes and other legal troubles that have blighted her since the admission.
13 Mark McGwire
In the late 90s, baseball player Mark McGwire admitted to taking steroids. But the steroids he admitted using weren’t at that time, on the banned substance list. Then in 2010, Mark admitted to used steroids for most of his career. He said that at first, it was to help him recover from injuries. But after his admission, a source said they knew Mark had taken them to improve his muscularity and strength. His admission came because he wanted everything to be out in the open because he was applying to be hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. Seen what he looks like now? The guy’s in his mid-50s, but looks at least 15 years older. He’s also lost his gains, but has gained quite a paunch. That’s what over a decade of steroid use can do to you.
12 Roy Jones Jr.
In the 1990s, Roy Jones Jr. was deemed to be fighter of the decade. He was an entertaining fighter, known for his unique style of boxing and his showmanship. Once a fighter always a fighter; boxers just can’t stay away from the sport. Amazingly he’s still fighting, although this year is set to be his last.
When Jones faced off against Richard Hall, both failed drugs tests. Jones claimed it was because he’d taken the supplement, Ripped Fuel. This had a steroid hormone in it, which was later put on the banned substance list. But there’s been rumors Jones had been juicing at other points of his career. He actually looks decent now. But a lot of people have commented on his chest, which looks terrible. One of the side effects of juicing, is getting a saggy chest,. Jones has gotten a bit of that, and it’s made him the subject of plenty of ridicule.
11 Sammy Sosa
Sammy Sosa is a Dominican former professional baseball right fielder. He had a pretty stellar career, which was marred when it was revealed he’s taken steroids. It was revealed he’d failed a test in 2003, but it wasn’t known what it was exactly that he’d taken. It’s not totally concrete, but when Sammy went from being skinny to big in a relatively short period of time, this added fuel to the fire, to the growing speculation. Seen what he looks like now?
You may have done but not even realized it’s Sammy Sosa. He’s still muscular, but the steroids seem to have messed with his mind. He’s gone down the Michael Jackson route, lightening his skin. He does look totally different – some may say terrible, freaky looking – and has altered his appearance dramatically.
10 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler who’s ever lived. His popularity grew exponentially throughout his career, to a point where even non-wrestling fans knew his name. One thing that people loved about Hulk Hogan was his flamboyancy, of course his wrestling, but the way he looked whilst doing do. He had the physique of a bodybuilder, and that’s something that got people talking. They were right to talk, because Hogan latter admitted that he had indeed taken steroids. Now he’s in his 60s, and those years and years of steroid use seem to have taken its toll. His hair’s gone, his skin is leathery and is just absolutely awful, and the guy just seems haggard, way older than he actually is. Just speculation here, but he looks like he could still be taking them too.
9 James Toney
Taking steroids in sports where it’s a prohibited substance is bad enough as it is. Taking them as a boxer, is in many people’s eyes, even worse, but as a heavyweight boxer, it just goes up a scale. As a heavyweight boxer you can cause some serious damage, but on steroids, you could essentially kill your opponent. Steroids make a dangerous sport all the more dangerous. Look at James Toney’s record, and you’d have to say that he was one of the greatest fighters who’s ever lived. But what a lot of people don’t talk about, it the fact he failed two post-fight drugs tests, one of which was when he’d just won the Heavyweight title. Seen the guy today? You certainly wouldn’t think he was a boxer, or that he was ever juicing. His body’s a pile of mush, and he looks terrible, seriously out of shape, even worse than he did at some points during his boxing career.
8 Gregg Valentino
Gregg Valentino was, and still is, a massive name in the world of bodybuilding. He used to compete in bodybuilding competitions, had an amazing physique as a natural competitor – i.e. no juicing – but then decided to get involved in dealing steroids. With large quantities of steroids in his house, he moved over to the dark side and began taking them. Consequently, Gregg, who was massive anyway, blew up. He became a minor celebrity, and at one point actually had the largest arms in the world. A lot of people were disgusted with what he did, called him a walking side effect. People have thought he looked terrible ever since he began juicing, let alone when he stopped. Now the steroid use seems to be having some adverse effects. He’s still muscular because he trains, but everything else has gone to downhill.
7 Ronnie Coleman
Let’s continue with the bodybuilders. It’s no secret, that in order to be a professional bodybuilder, you have to juice. That’s just how it is. It’s why the sport of bodybuilding gets such a bad name. Some juice more than others, and become freakishly big. Ronnie Coleman was one of those people. He was one of the biggest bodybuilders to have ever stepped on stage. He’s also one of the greatest, with eight Mr. Olympia – the world’s biggest bodybuilding competition – titles to his name. Ronnie’s the greatest bodybuilder of all time, but his success came at a cost. The thing with steroids is, is that your muscles get bigger, you get stronger, but your bones and tendons don’t. And Ronnie’s famous for lifting freakishly heavy weights. So, something had to give. He’s had four spinal surgeries and a double hip replacement, and that’s only scratching the surface in terms of what he’s had to contend with, how he looks.
6 Dennis Wolf
Dennis Wolf is one of the most popular bodybuilders around. He’s acquired a tremendous fan following over the years, but has always fallen short when it comes to the Mr. Olympia competition. Nevertheless, his fan base is ginormous in the sport. But just over a year ago, Dennis completely lost all of his gains. A pic appeared of him looking serious skinny, as though he’d never even stepped on stage before. That’s because Dennis suffered an injury, one that meant he had to stay out of the gym for many months. No training meant no juicing. The thing with steroids is, if you build a body on steroids, when you stop juicing it could look like you’ve never touched a weight in your life. If you build a body first, then take steroids, when you stop juicing you’ll still have that body. Dennis evidently built his body on steroids – just look at how he looks in this pic on the left when he’s had to come off the juice.
5 Frans Botha
Steroids don’t always make a person look strong. In order to gain a killer physique, training and diet is also required, then steroids will work their magic. But juicing certainly does result in strength gains. That’s why a lot of people take them, particularly those in fighting sports. Former heavyweight boxer, Frans Botha, used to juice. He’s tested positive for three steroids, and other drugs which are on the banned substance list. It’s amazing he was allowed to step foot in the ring again and continue with his career. He’s approaching the age of 50, but looks more like someone in his mid-60s. The guy looks awful in every which way. He can only be described as being obese, not an athlete or former athlete in any sense of the word.
4 Floyd Landis
A lot has come to light over the past decade or so regarding steroid use in cycling. Cyclists may not seem like the type of people who’d benefit from steroids. They’re not exactly muscular sportspeople. But they require strength, endurance, and certain types of steroids and other performance enhancers can help with that. Floyd Landis is a disgraced cyclist who was found out in 2006. He denied that he’d taken steroids, and even crowdfunded to raise the legal fees. He was allowed to return to cycling, but admitted he’d been juicing in 2010. He took steroids and other hormones and banned substances. His admission was because he had a guilty conscience. Since his cycling and juicing days, he looks significantly older and has put on quite a bit of weight. But he seems chilled out about it though. Perhaps that’s because he’s a cannabis farmer, and has launched a cannabis company. Yep, seriously.
3 Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson’s one of the most hated names in athletics. The guy’s the very definition of a disgraced former athlete, due to the highly publicized doping scandal that arose in the late 70s and 80s. He set world records and won titles, and that was in large part, because he was doping. Like most 100m sprinters are, Ben was pretty built at the time. He was muscular and strong and had the perfect physique for a 100m sprinter. It’s a shame he didn’t attain it by legal means. Look at his body now, and you wouldn’t be able to guess that he was an athlete of any kind. The guy’s hard muscles have turned to flab, and he looks terrible; he looks his age and then some.
2 Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong looks seriously haggard. He’s in his mid-40s, but you can add a decade onto that when it comes to how old he really looks. That’s probably in part to his steroid use, and the massive scandal – arguably the biggest doping scandal in sporting history – that arose when people found out he was a systematic doper. Due to his doping offences, he was deemed to be the ringleader of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
With decades of juicing under his belt and seemingly the weight of the world on his shoulders, it’s little wonder Lance now looks the way he does, terrible, pretty old, and just fed up with everything.
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Let’s be honest, for all of his great achievements, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the poster boy for PEDs. His autobiography states he was taking steroids as a teenager, and within a couple of years, he was thrust onto the world bodybuilding stage and was winning major competitions. He wasn’t juicing like most of the competitors do today, but he was still juicing, and for decades too. It’s taken its toll on Arnie’s health. The seed was planted, and it just grew and grew over the years, slowly rotting his body from the inside. He’s had many surgeries over the years, including heart surgery – one of the main side effects of steroid use is that it can lead to heart problems.
Credit to him, he’s gotten himself back in shape now he’s shooting movies again, but still, when he first stopped, his body looked terrible.